BLACK: No, we’ve actually taken an appeal to the Fourth District Court of Appeals about whether or not the police and the prosecutors ought to be able to examine his medical records. What happened is they got a search warrant, seized records from four doctors. They want to look at them. We got a stay of that. We are now in the appellate court, and they have to decide whether or not they followed the right procedures and they have enough evidence to examine the records.
ABRAMS: All right. And their argument goes as follows: That they go to a judge, that they say to the judge here’s what we got, and they demonstrate probable cause to get the search warrant, they go execute the search warrant, and they were following the procedures by the book.
BLACK: Well, those are the normal procedures for police seizing evidence, and I certainly have no objection to that. And that right for the police and prosecutors was created by the Florida legislature. However, after that the Florida legislator — legislation limited that right when it came to medical records because the Florida Supreme Court found that there’s a constitutional right to privacy in the Florida constitution. The Florida legislature limited the police’s ability to obtain your medical records by saying you can’t do it ex parte, you have to have a hearing with the patient present, and which the judge then decides whether or not the police or prosecutors can actually get the records and which part of the records. Part of our thing is they seized all his records. They have no probable cause for that. It should be done on a page-by-page basis.
ABRAMS: Well, what happens if you win? I mean they’ve already — you know, they’ve already taken some of these records, they’ve already confiscated them. What’s the result if you win?
BLACK: Well, we say that they ought to return the records to the physicians and they ought to be prevented from obtaining them in any fashion. Their response may well, okay, we’ll return the records, but then we want to go through the subpoena process as we should have done in the first place. However, they admitted during the hearings we had that they knew that the proper way, or they knew that the statutes existed for the requirement of a subpoena, but they deliberately bypassed it, and I think because of that they should be prevented from getting the records.
ABRAMS: I don’t think this is going to be a question that violates the attorney-client privilege, but what did Rush Limbaugh say to you when you said to him, “Hey, Rush, you’re never going to believe who joined us in this motion”? We got the ACLU on our side, and I know your position is going to be this is a civil liberties issue and it’s no big surprise that the ACLU has joined on. But were you there when you told — when Rush Limbaugh found out the ACLU is on his team?
BLACK: Yes, and, you know, it’s sort of a conversation like, you know, who’s going to jump in the foxhole with you. The reason the ACLU is there is not really to help out Rush Limbaugh, but it’s to protect the rights of Florida citizens. And they made that clear in their brief; look, we’re looking at the broader issue.
ABRAMS: But they always say that. I mean — and Rush Limbaugh still has gone after them on his radio show many times, and every time they defend themselves saying, “Oh, we’re just doing it for the purpose of the issue. We don’t like a lot of our clients.”
BLACK: But you know what? That’s what makes America great, isn’t it? We have a First Amendment right, and you can get on this show and say whatever you want about anybody, and so can I, and Rush can, and so can the ACLU. So that’s what makes this a great country, doesn’t it?
ABRAMS: Do you expect to win this motion, Roy?
BLACK: Well, I think that the law is on our side. Now, the problem with this case is that it’s Rush Limbaugh and it’s Palm Beach County, and you can’t separate out the kind of feelings about him and in that particular venue particularly.
ABRAMS: Why, do you think this is political?
BLACK: Well, if you look at the — how the prosecutors have acted in this for the last four or five months, I mean they’ve been leaking things like we’re investigating him for drug trafficking, then it was money laundering, now it’s doctor shopping. They even said at one time he’s going to plead guilty. They have said all kinds of things about him that made this very unfair, so I can only imagine what’s going to come up in the near future.
ABRAMS: One thing’s for certain, he got the right lawyer. Roy Black, nice to see you.
BLACK: It’s my pleasure.