Privilege and Malpractice


An attorney who was accused of giving a client substandard advice during the client’s divorce case has now been told she is not allowed to use her communication with the client to write off a malpractice action that was brought against her.

The ruling by Judge John C. Gemmill is just the latest in a number of cases that affirm the confidentiality of communications between an attorney and a client and to protect the materials created and made for or used during mediation.

Even after a panel reversed a trial court’s finding that that attorney Andrea C. Lawrence could defend herself against former client Karen Grubaugh’s malpractice claims by “utiliz[ing] as evidence communications between herself and Grubaugh, occurring during and after the mediation, which led to Grubaugh’s ultimate acceptance of the dissolution agreement.”

Judge Gemmill’s ruling asserts that communications from the divorce mediation were not discoverable or admissible in this malpractice action also required the dismissal of “any claims in [Grubaugh’s] complaint dependent on such communications.”

“In order to protect the rights of the absent party, the privilege must be enforced,” the court stated.

There are various areas where malpractice can occur. While medical malpractice is what most people think of when they hear the term, attorneys who fail in their fiduciary duties or fail to provide a certain level of legal competence can be sued for medical malpractice as well.

Anyone can have an off day or mistakes can be made, regardless of profession. Legal and medical professionals are no different.

In the case of medical malpractice, however, most of the time when medical malpractice or medical negligence occurs, it can be due to a number of reasons. When it happens to you or to someone you love, that’s the time you want an attorney who specializes in this complicated area of personal injury law. That’s the time to call the law offices of Bottar Law, PLLC.

If you or a loved one believes they have suffered as a result of medical malpractice or medical negligence, contact the law offices of Bottar Law today. After a careful evaluation of your claim, and if we believe you have a case, we will begin the process of helping you and your loved ones begin to recover. Contact us today at our toll free number (888) 979-1689, or at (315) 313-6809, or you may reach us by email at


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