Right now, the Medical Board's case against Dr. Stoller's for writing 10 non CDC based ME's is still
scheduled for hearing during the week of June 8th. When the judge
picked that date after the shut-down, she indicated that the date was
not just a placeholder, and that the hearing could well go forward by
means other than live and in person, if the Office of Administrative Hearings is still closed.
Here are a few other relevant data points: Some administrative hearings involving the medical board have been changed from in person to telephonic, and these hearing have been set for this week, and as far as I know, they are taking place. Seems crazy to me, but they are doing it.
Generally speaking, civil and administrative proceedings are open to the public. Exceptions would include where there is a strong privacy interest, like in child custody cases. Medical board hearings however are generally open to the public, but parts can be restricted to protect the privacy rights of testifying patients or parents of patients.
In light of the physical closing of court houses, some California superior courts have provided for live-streaming
of their proceedings. And, you all know that for the first time in its
history, this week the Supreme Court has broadcast its telephonic oral
In our case, prior to the shut down, the judge issued a media order acknowledging the public's right to attend the hearing and the media's right to cover the hearing, but she prohibited the broadcasting or live-streaming the hearing, in part because of privacy issues. So, you see the issue.
So where are we?
Yesterday, we received an order from the judge scheduling another pre-hearing conference for May 15, 2020 at 10: AM to consider whether the hearing should go forward via telephone, video conference or adjourned to a date when there can be a live hearing.
Because of the great public interest which this case has and will continue to generate, as it deals with the validity and continued viability of ME's beyond CDC guidelines under SB 277, we feel the public has a right to know and follow the hearing. Therefore, we will be requesting that if the hearing takes place via telephone or video conference, the judge must allow the hearing to be live-streamed and followed by anyone who wants to watch or listen to it.
We will see how this all shakes out next Friday. If the public is excluded, we may be looking for some public or written expressions of unhappiness with an exclusion order.
Stay Tuned!Rick Jaffe, Esq.