DSDA Wins Attorney Fees For Healthcare Provider Who Fought Unreasonable Subpoena
Hilary L. Velandia recently obtained a judgment of attorney fees for a mental health provider who had successfully quashed a subpoena it received less than a week before the appearance date. Under Oklahoma Law, an attorney issuing a subpoena has a duty to avoid imposing undue burden on the person subject to the subpoena. The court is required to enforce this duty and impose sanction on attorneys who do not comply. As many health care providers already know, attorneys do not often pay heed to this requirement and it is common to receive a subpoena a week or even a day before it requires court appearance. Such short notice can greatly disrupt an entity's daily business activities. In the past, judges have been very hesitant to impose attorney fees for behavior. However, in this case, the judge noted that although the legal system has become lenient in enforcing this requirement, it still applies and sanctions are appropriate when it is breached. Hopefully this decision marks a turning point in the local bench's approach to subpoenas so other providers may receive similar protection from onerous subpoenas.