In what appears to be the first move of its kind, a Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge has disqualified a defense attorney and his entire firm in a medical malpractice case because one of the firm’s lawyers communicated with the treating physician ex parte in violation of Civil Procedure Rule 4003.6.

“It’s the first opinion that lets everyone know that disqualification of counsel could result from a violation of the rule,” plaintiff’s attorney Alan Feldman of Philidelphia’s Feldman Shepherd & Wohlgelernter said. “Judge [Mark] Bernstein structured an appropriate remedy that gives some teeth to the rule, saying that you proceed at your peril if you violate the rule.”

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