From various sources, listed below this post:
Eric J. Topol, is a renowned cardiologist employed by the Cleveland Clinic for Case Western University's Case Medical School. He is departing that Clinic shortly. A research company has reported that Dr. Topol that he was one of the ten most cited medical researchers of the last ten years. His work has been cited more than 22,000 times.
Topol played a key role in the well regarded Lerner College of Medicine. Until last year Topol held the titles of chief academic officer and provost. Each position was eliminated, after Dr. Topol testified in a Vioxx MDL trial. His deposition testimony was highly critical of Merck. Late last year the New York Times reported that Dr. Topol was placed on "probation."
Yesterday's news (below) indicated that Dr. Topol was leaving and that Attorney Mark Lanier had hired Topol as a consultant. Topol denies that he has been hired.
Merck informed the federal court in New Orleans (Judge Fallon) that Attorney Mark Lanier announced in New Jersey State Court that Dr. Topol was leaving the Cleveland Clinic and that Lanier was to be his personal lawyer over his departure from the clinic.
To me, why this should matter is being overstated. Doctors are hired by attorneys for both sides on a regular basis. Interestingly enough, however, according to Forbes.com:
Topol had also worked as his doctor. 'He's my [Lanier's] cardiologist--I was told I needed to have heart surgery. Dr. Topol's the best cardiologist in the world. "
According to Forbes and others: Lanier said he disclosed his relationships with Topol in court because he had an obligation to do so. But he added that any accusations that he asked Topol to consult for him are "flat-out wrong." "There is no truth to the statement that I've sought him as an expert," Lanier said.