Mobile, AL asked in Contracts and Health Care Law for Alabama

Q: I am a professional that had an agreement with an attorney to provide expert medical testimony.

At one point in our work, one of the attorneys (whom I was working for the benefit of) threatened me with litigation because I did not return his/her phone call, and it had only been 36 hours since their request for me to call them. I notified that attorney in reply that I felt this behavior was unethical and irregular, not to mention an illegitimate threat, and that I no longer felt ethically obligated to work with them further. I have had no contact with the Court, but should I make the Judge/Court aware of the transgressions and my conviction for no longer participating in the case with that attorney? (I have no idea whether I was ever declared an expert witness or not in the matter, no deposed testimony was ever given). I have considered reporting this behavior to the State Bar as well.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Amanda B Cook
Amanda B Cook
  • Montgomery, AL
  • Licensed in Alabama

A: If you want to get out of the contract, then you should take the written agreement to a contract attorney who works in a different area than the attorney you are having trouble with, and see what they have to say about the terms.

If you feel the conduct was unbecoming of an attorney enough to warrant a formal reprimand, then you should report that attorney to the state bar. Be aware this involves lots of paperwork and time. It may not really be worth it once you've had a chance to cool off a bit.

Contacting the court is generally considered inappropriate for anyone involved with a lawsuit. This is not recommended.

On a personal note, it's a pretty dumb move to threaten your own expert. There must be some other stressors involved with this behavior. If I were you I would just professionally and privately discuss your concerns with the other attorneys working the case. I'm sure they'll be apologetic and could limit your contact with that one particular lawyer if you decided you were willing to move forward with the reports and testimony.

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