Collateral Source Rule Applies to Lawyers

A lawyer was hurt in a wreck and received injuries that limited his work hours. He was a partner is a law firm and continued to receive his regular compensation despite his failure to work and bill the required number of hours. The judge did not permit the defendant to tell the jury that the lawyer received his normal compensation. The jury awarded money for lost of income and defendant appealed.

The California Court of Appeal affirmed, stating “[h]owever criticized, maligned or debatable the application of the collateral source rule may be in this case, it is not within our province to depart from established California law and we decline to do so.” The case includes a nice discussion of the public policy supporting the rule.

The case is Smock v. State of California, (A107532, A108413 Cal. Ct. App. 1st Dis., Div. 3 4/18/06). You can read it here.