Friday, June 12, 2009

First District Reverses Disqualification of Counsel

In Walker v. River City Logistics, Inc. (1D09-0780), the First District reversed the JCC's disqualification of the petitioner's counsel.

The court held:
This court will grant a certiorari petition when an interlocutory order "departs from the essential requirements of law, causing material injury of an irreparable nature which cannot be remedied on appeal from a final order."

As Claimant points out, because disqualification of counsel denies a party its counsel of choice, such disqualification constitutes a material injury not remediable on plenary appeal...Disqualification of counsel is an extraordinary remedy...Accordingly, this court reviews an order of disqualification by certiorari and, upon a showing that the order departed from the essential requirements of law, this court may issue the writ.

The employer/carrier [E/C] argued that claimant's counsel should be disqualified because the employer "disclosed privileged documents to Claimant’s public defender in another proceeding. The E/C has not argued that this disclosure was inadvertent. The E/C’s voluntary disclosure of the documents
waived the privilege."


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