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RE: Ethical Responsibility?

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>The way I understand it is, if you make a report to an attorney, that 
>attorney is not required to make that information public and the report 
>cannot be subpoenaed from him/her.  However, if you make a report to an 
>individual, that report may be subpoenaed ("produce all records, reports, 
>letters, computer files, etc.") by other parties and *must* be produced.

In the course of some expert testimony I did some reports that the 
attorney said he considered 'work product' and non-discoverable, so they 
wouldn't need to be turned over to opposing counsel. I never heard a 
complete definition of the term, but it really didn't concern anything 
besides written materials. I would not be confronted with any work 
product materials in testimony, but nothing in the reports could have 
been withheld in cross examination if it came up. I conclude that the 
report itself is considered priveleged, but not necessarily the findings 
or opinions contained .

I had a case where my investigation revealed a very serious defect that 
had already casued injuries. I was retained by an attorney who acted as a 
sort of gate-keeper to keep my reports out of a manufacturer's files. 
Reports went to him, otherwise, my contacts were to be with the 
manufacturer. At one point I was forced to write to the attorney 
explaining I could not perform some associated design work because the 
requested approach involved big reliability issues. I explained why and 
indicated the possible consequences and outlined some alternatives. I 
think the attorney got the idea and nothing more was said. 

Christopher Wright P.E.    |"They couldn't hit an elephant from
chrisw(--nospam--at)skypoint.com        | this distance"   (last words of Gen.
___________________________| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)
http://www.skypoint.com/~chrisw


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