Attorneys usually do not issue a subpoena for records without first attempting to obtain them through informal means. Since subpoenas may be issued without the approval of the court, medical care practitioners should ensure that they are valid before releasing records by calling the issuing attorney and determining the circumstances of the case. In most states now, a subpoena for medical records should include a signed release by the patient. If the attorney is requesting records for persons other than his or her client, the physician may want to ask his or her own attorney to investigate the validity of the request. In cases that involve records with special legal protection (such as patients in a substance abuse treatment program) it may be necessary to request that the court deny (quash) the subpoena or restrict access to the records. The court may order that all patient identifiers be removed, or that the records be given to the judge, rather than the requesting attorney.
McCaffrey,B.(2007).Medical Evidence in Litigation.Retrieved from http://www.americanbar.org/newsletter/publications/gp_solo_magazine_home/gp_solo_magazine_index/medicalevidence.html