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Samaritan Foundation v. Goodfarb

862 P.2d 870 (1993)

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Samaritan Foundation v. Goodfarb

Arizona Supreme Court

862 P.2d 870 (1993)

Facts

A child’s heart stopped during surgery at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital (Phoenix) in the Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center (Samaritan) (petitioner). A Samaritan paralegal interviewed the nurses and technician present during the surgery and prepared memoranda summarizing the interviews. The child and her parents (the family) sued Phoenix and the surgeons for medical malpractice. When deposed, the employees could not remember the incident. The family moved to compel disclosure of the paralegal’s memoranda. After reviewing the summaries in camera, the trial court indicated it would delete attorney work product and release those portions of the memoranda that were witness statements. Samaritan petitioned the court of appeals for special action, arguing that the communications summarized in the memoranda were protected by Samaritan’s attorney-client privilege. The court of appeals denied relief. The Arizona Supreme Court granted review.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Martone, J.)

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