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Oklahoma law aims to speed up records requests in civil cases

Q&A with Jason McVicker

published in The Oklahoman | November 14, 2014

Trial lawyer Jason McVicker was interviewed by The Oklahoman about a new Oklahoma law designed to speed up the discovery process in lawsuits alleging physical or mental injuries.  He explained that while plaintiffs often make broad claims in such lawsuits, they are often slow to produce their own relevant records. When discovery disputes arise, the courts must intervene, which slows down the litigation process and drives up costs.

“Under this new law, a plaintiff must, within 60 days of services of the petition, provide all parties with a release or authorization allowing them to obtain relevant medical, employment or scholastic records in any suit alleging physical or mental injuries,” said McVicker.

McVicker said the new law, which went into effect November 1 and is unique to Oklahoma, was enacted by the Oklahoma Legislature in an attempt to help Oklahoma businesses reduce the burdens of litigation by avoiding time-consuming discovery disputes. As an added benefit, McVicker said the new law may also discourage frivolous lawsuits. For example, “attorneys may be more cautious about taking cases if they client has extensive pre-existing injuries.”