Employment Law Blog

Filter:  2012 July

Discovery and Physician/Patient Confidentiality

The California Constitution and the California Evidence Code establish a right of privacy which protects communications between a physician and patient.  Roe v. Sup. Ct. (1991) 229 Cal.App.3d 832, 837 (physician-patient privilege broadly construed in favor of the patient for public policy reasons).  Jones v. Sup. Ct. (1981) 119 Cal.App.3d 534, 549–550, citing Board of Medical Quality Assurance v. Gherardini (1979) 93 Cal.App.3d 669, 678–679:

“A person’s medical profile is an area of privacy infinitely more intimate, more personal in quality and nature than many areas already judicially recognized and protected . . . . [¶] The individual’s right to privacy encompasses not only the state of his mind, but also his viscera, detailed complaints of physical ills, and their emotional overtones. The state of a person’s gastro-intestinal tract is as much entitled to privacy from unauthorized public or bureaucratic snooping as is that person’s bank account, the contents of his library or his membership in the NAACP. We conclude the specie of privacy here sought to be invaded falls squarely within the protected ambit, the expressed objectives of article I, section 1 [of the California Constitution].”


Motion to Compel Arbitration

The FAA provides, that a “written provision in any…contract evidencing a transaction involving commerce to settle by arbitration a controversy…shall be valid, irrevocable, and enforceable, save upon such grounds as exist at law or in equity for the revocation of the contract.” 9 U.S.C. § 2. In order to opt out of the FAA, a controlling state arbitration law must be specified in the agreement. See, e.g. Wolsey, Ltd. v. Foodmaker, Inc., 144 F.3d 1205, 1209 (9th Cir. 1998) (“In other words, parties are free to contract around the FAA by incorporating state arbitration rules into their agreements.”).