Commonwealth v. Lamb 1974

(Expert Testimony & DFP, Mass Case, Limits of Confidentiality)

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Commonwealth v. Charles E. Lamb
Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
365 Mass. 265; 311 N.E.2d 47; 1974 Mass.
March 5, 1974, Argued
May 6, 1974, Decided

Petition for commitment filed in the Superior Court on December 15, 1970.
The case was heard by Robert Sullivan, J.

HEADNOTES: Evidence, Communication between patient and psychiatrist. Statute, Construction.

SYLLABUS: In a proceeding under G. L. c. 123A, § 6, for commitment of the defendant as a sexually dangerous person, it was held that, with respect to communications between the defendant and a psychiatrist who by court order had interviewed him while he was in custody at a treatment center, the only applicable exception in c. 233, § 20B, to the psychotherapistpatient privilege afforded thereby was exception (b), and that that exception did not preclude the defendant from invoking the privilege where it appeared that the defendant had not been warned that such communications would not be privileged. [266-270]

COUNSEL: J. Kevin Leary, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.
Francis John Stolarz for the defendant.

JUDGES: Reardon, Quirico, Braucher, Kaplan, & Wilkins, JJ.


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