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Rulings on Attorney-Client Privilege Not Appealable as Collateral Orders

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By FindLaw Staff on March 03, 2010 1:37 PM

In In re: Whirlpool Corp., No. 09-3777, the Seventh Circuit dealt with both an appeal and a petition for a writ of mandamus challenging district court's order for Whirlpool to disclose communications between its attorneys and outside advertising agencies, arising from an action for trademark infringement against Whirlpool relating to a clothes dryer.

As stated in the decision: "At the time there was uncertainty about whether rulings on the attorney-client privilege could be appealed as collateral orders, because Mohawk Indus., Inc. v. Carpenter, 130S. Ct. 599 (2009), which addressed this very issue, was pending before the Supreme Court." 

Based on the Supreme Court's holding in Mohawk with respect to Whirlpool's appeal, the court held that the appeal must be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction as rulings that allegedly infringe upon the attorney-client privilege are not appealable as collateral orders.  In addition, the court denied Whirlpool's petition for a writ of mandamus in rejecting its argument that the unavailability of collateral appeal requires the court to relax the standards for issuing writs of mandamus. 

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