Riddell, Inc. v. Superior Court

If the issues in a insurance coverage declaratory relief action overlap the issues in the underlying litigation against the insured, the insurer cannot, over the insured’s objection, take discovery on the overlapping issues or litigate them in the declaratory relief action.  If the issues in a declaratory relief action over insurance coverage overlap the issues…

Tucker Ellis, LLP v. Superior Court

The attorney-work product privilege in documents prepared by a law firm’s employee-attorney while representing the law firm’s client is held by the law firm, not the employee-attorney who prepared the documents.  Nelson, an attorney, formerly employed by Tucker Ellis, a law firm, wrote emails (in his capacity as a Tucker Ellis employee) to a consultant…

Cross v. Superior Court

The psychotherapist-patient privilege may not be raised in opposition to producing patient records in a Medical Board investigation, but to protect the patient’s privacy rights the subpoena must be carefully tailored to request only records that are relevant and material to a compelling state interest, such as avoiding over-prescription of controlled substances. B&P 2225(a) provides…

McDermott Will & Emery, LLP v. Superior Court

No matter how the attorney receives another party’s inadvertently produced privileged material, the attorney owes a duty to notify the privilege holder and await a court’s resolution of any dispute over existence or waiver of the privilege; failure to do so may lead to disqualification.  The trial court did not abuse its discretion in disqualifying…

Behunin v. Superior Court

Attorney-client privilege does not shield communications among plaintiff, his attorney, and a third party public relations firm whom plaintiff hired to smear defendants in an attempt to induce a favorable settlement.  Steiner represented Behunin in litigation Behunin brought against Charles and Michael Schwab.  To pressure the Schwabs to settle the litigation, Steiner hired Levick Strategic…

Lemke v. Sutter Roseville Medical Center

Defendant hospital’s report to Board of Registered Nursing regarding plaintiff, a registered nurse, and her allegedly improper monitoring of a patient to whom she had given narcotics, was absolutely privileged under Civ. Code 47(b) and therefore could not be the subject of a viable defamation claim.  Statements made to an “appropriate regulatory agency” are absolutely…

Mathews v. Harris

Neither the psychotherapist-patient privilege nor the state constitutional right of privacy is absolute, and consequently neither of these defeats the statutory requirement that mental health professionals report their patients to the police or child welfare agencies when the patients disclose that they have accessed child pornography through electronic or digital media.  The Child Abuse and…

Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors v. Superior Court

Attorney fee bills may or may not be privileged, depending on whether they convey information for the purpose of legal representation, such as informing the client of the nature and amount of work being performed in a currently active, pending case.  The attorney-client privilege does not protect to every single communication transmitted confidentially between lawyer…

McNair v. City & County of San Francisco

The litigation privilege immunized a doctor from being sued by a bus driver, after the doctor refused to certify him for a commercial driver’s license and wrote to the DMV that plaintiff posed a risk to himself and others due to specified cognitive deficits.  The litigation privilege immunized a doctor from suit by a bus…

Gerner v. Superior Court

Psychotherapist-patient privilege protected doctor from obligation to comply with subpoena from the Medical Board, which had requested records in association with patient complaint, because before the Board moved to enforce its subpoena, the patient in question revoked his waiver of the privilege.  A doctor licensed as a physician by the Medical Board with a certification…

Li v. Yan

Although a state-law privilege exists to protect against discovery of tax returns, the privilege is not absolute, and can be overcome when another public policy outweighs the policy underlying the privilege—such as, here, the integrity of debtor examination proceedings.  The state-law privilege against discovery of tax returns is not absolute.  It can be overcome by…