You are here:-, Nursing careers and jobs-Can an RN refuse to give a deposition due to conflict of interest?

Can an RN refuse to give a deposition due to conflict of interest?

Dear Nancy,

I have been called to give a deposition in a lawsuit for a former employer. I was a director of nursing with the company. Can I refuse to give a deposition due to conflict of interest?

Dear Francine,

Your question is without details so it is not clear what you are referring to when you state there is some kind of conflict of interest in giving a deposition apparently scheduled by your former employer. What is clear, however, is the need for you to retain a nurse attorney or attorney to represent you during the deposition.

One should never go to a deposition unrepresented. This is especially true in your case because of your concern about a conflict of interest. Indeed, there may well be a conflict surrounding the facts of the case and what your role was and what the role of your employer was in the case. Or, there may be no conflict other than what you identify as one, which may or may not be a legally based conflict.

There are many unanswered questions here. Who is the plaintiff in the suit? Did you fail to do something you were required to do as the director of nursing? What will the employer’s position be in terms of your role during the incident which is the focus of the case? What will the employer’s position be in terms of its own role during the incident which is the focus of the case?

Your attorney will be able to analyze the facts of the case with you before the deposition and will represent and protect you when you give your testimony during the deposition.

Regards, Nancy

By | 2015-07-08T16:35:53-04:00 July 8th, 2015|Categories: Blogs, Nursing careers and jobs|2 Comments

About the Author:

Nancy J. Brent, MS, JD, RN
Our legal information columnist Nancy J. Brent, MS, JD, RN, received her Juris Doctor from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and concentrates her solo law practice in health law and legal representation, consultation and education for healthcare professionals, school of nursing faculty and healthcare delivery facilities. Brent has conducted many seminars on legal issues in nursing and healthcare delivery across the country and has published extensively in the area of law and nursing practice. She brings more than 30 years of experience to her role of legal information columnist. Her posts are designed for educational purposes only and are not to be taken as specific legal or other advice. Individuals who need advice on a specific incident or work situation should contact a nurse attorney or attorney in their state. Visit The American Association of Nurse Attorneys website to search its attorney referral database by state.

2 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Milt Pym July 19, 2015 at 5:57 pm - Reply

    Francine, My wife has just retired after 47 year of nursing practice. I would have never let her work one second in a clinical setting without her own personal Professional Liability Insurance Coverage. Even though she is retired now we will continue to renew her policy. Your employers are generally required to have coverage but in most cases they are going to protect their interest before that of an employee!! In this case I hope you have a policy If so contact them and they should provide you with legal representation. If not there is no excuse not to purchase a policy.

  2. Avatar
    Barbara Cross-Jones July 20, 2015 at 12:14 am - Reply

    When is your next Nursing and Law Seminar?

Leave A Comment