Petition for a writ of mandamus by the government to direct the Court of Federal Claims to vacate its orders requiring the US to produce documents that it asserts are protected by the attorney-client privilege is denied as the US cannot deny an Indian tribe's request to discover communications between the US and its attorneys based on the attorney-client privilege when those communications concern management of an Indian trust and the US has not claimed that the government or its attorneys considered a specific competing interest in those communications. Accordingly, the fiduciary exception is adopted in tribal cases where a fiduciary may not block a beneficiary from discovering information protected under the attorney-client privilege when the information relates to fiduciary matter, including trust management.
On Petition for Writ of Mandamus to the United States Court of Federal Claims
Decided December 29, 2009
Opinion by Gajarsa, Circuit Judge
For Appellant: Brian C. Toth, US Department of Justice
For Appellee: Steven D. Gordon, Holland & Knight, LLP