July 23, 2012
Privilege Claim Defeats Subpoena
The Connecticut Supreme Court has reversed an order compelling a law firm to comply with a subpoena.
The law firm represents a plaintiff suing former counsel for legal malpractice:
The plaintiffs' malpractice claim concerns only the allegedly negligent representation by the defendants, which is separate from the plaintiffs' subsequent representation by [plaintiffs' counsel] Finn Dixon. Although the issue of damages will likely involve the reasonableness of the settlements entered into on Finn Dixon's advice, the fact finder should be able to assess damages without resorting to privileged communications...We decline to adopt the contrary rule urged by the defendants because it lacks precedential support and runs counter to our narrow construction of exceptions to the attorney-client privilege.
There is a dissent that would hold that the order compelling discovery is not appealable at this juncture. (Mike Frisch)
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