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Attorney-Client Privilege Issue in Employment Case

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By FindLaw Staff on May 12, 2010 1:45 PM

Hernandez v. Tanninen, No. 09-35085, involved plaintiff's petition for a writ of mandamus challenging a decision finding that any attorney-client or work product privilege between plaintiff and his prior attorney was waived and ordering the production of all thirty-five documents referenced in a privilege log.  The court of appeals granted the writ, on the grounds that 1) plaintiff only waived privilege with respect to his communications with prior counsel about defendant, as well as counsel's communications and work product relating to counsel's interaction with defendant, and thus the district court clearly erred in finding a blanket waiver of the attorney-client and work product privileges as to the entire case; and 2) the district court's order finding a blanket waiver was "particularly injurious" to plaintiff's interests.

As the court wrote:  "Rolando Hernandez appeals the district court's decision
finding that any attorney-client or work product privilege between Hernandez and his prior attorney, Gregory Ferguson, was waived and ordering the production of all thirty-five documents referenced in a privilege log."

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