Josh Silverman Presents at Nursing Home Litigation Seminar
This past weekend I had the privilege of giving a one hour presentation to a group of experienced nursing home litigation attorneys on legal ethics. We focused on the ethics of contacting current and former employees of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Attorneys are ethically barred from communicating with someone represented by counsel in most circumstances. The tough question arises when your opposing counsel represents an entitly like a nursing home. Does the opposing counsel represent all past and present employees? The short answer is no and it is perfectly ethical to contact most former employees.
Why is it important to contact these former employees? Well, in many cases the medical records from the nursing home are at best misleading and in some cases fraudulent. Former employees often know the truth and once they leave they are no longer beholden to their former bosses. This can translate to gaining eyewitness testimony about how a client was hurt or neglected in a nursing home.
In past cases we have discovered very disturbing facts about how our clients where neglected in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. For example, in one case the client mysteriously died of hypothermia in an assisted living facility. Former employees confided in us that the owner kept the facility so cold they had to work in coats and long underwear while the thermostat was kept under lock and key. None of this is pretty but it is an important part of getting to the truth.