Is a client entitled to attorney work product in California?

As one court noted, “California has two conflicting absolutes, the absolute right of a client to his attorney’s work product, and the absolute right of an attorney to protect his or her impressions, conclusions, opinions, and legal research or theories from disclosure.” (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.

Does attorney work product belong to the client?

Who holds the protections for work product? Like attorney-client privilege, the protections for work product belong to the client and secrecy is an obligation incumbent on the attorney from which the client may release the attorney (see question 7).

Does work product apply to the client?

Yes. However, in contrast to the attorney-client privilege, disclosing work product to “friendly” third parties (even those who do not qualify as agents of the attorney or client) usually does not waive the protection.

What is considered attorney work product California?

The attorney work product doctrine provides absolute protection to written work product that reveals an attorney’s impressions, conclusions, opinions or legal research. 3. Attorney work product is defined in the governing statute as material created or derived from a lawyer’s work.

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Who does the work product privilege belong to?

Proc. § 2018.030. Even though the attorney client privilege and the work product doctrine are similar in many ways, the holders of these privileges are distinct. Rather than the client, the attorney is the holder of work product protection.

Is work product privileged?

Generally, work product is privileged, meaning it is exempt from discovery. However, there are exceptions. Work product is divided into two categories: ordinary and opinion.

How does attorney-client privilege work?

Definition. Attorney-client privilege refers to a legal privilege that works to keep confidential communications between an attorney and his or her client secret. The privilege is asserted in the face of a legal demand for the communications, such as a discovery request or a demand that the lawyer testify under oath.

Does work product require attorney-client privilege?

The work product doctrine states that an adverse party generally may not discover or compel disclosure of written or oral materials prepared by or for an attorney in the course of legal representation, especially in preparation for litigation.

What qualifies as attorney work product?

In order to qualify as attorney work-product, a document must be “prepared in anticipation of litigation.” Fed.R.Civ.Pro. … Specifically, this means that the privilege does not attach until “at the very least some articulable claim, likely to lead to litigation,” has arisen.

What is the difference between work product and attorney-client privilege?

Decision Highlights a Key Difference Between Attorney-Client Privilege and Work Product Doctrine Protection. The attorney-client privilege provides absolute but fragile protection. In contrast, work product doctrine protection can be overcome — but offers more robust safety than the privilege.

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Can a client waive work product?

Unlike the attorney-client privilege, it’s actually difficult to waive the work product privilege. … A party can waive the privilege, however, by disclosing it to an adversary directly or if the disclosure substantially increases the chances that the work product will get into the hands of an adversary.

Are declarations discoverable?


The Court began with the text of California’s work product statute, Code of Civil Procedure Section 2018.030, which provides absolute protection to a “writing that reflects an attorney’s impressions, conclusions, opinions, or legal research or theories.” Such material is not discoverable under any circumstances.

Who can waive attorney work product?

A party or its attorney may waive the privilege by disclosing privileged information to a third party who is not bound by the privilege, or otherwise shows disregard for the privilege by making the information public. Bittaker v. Woodford, 331 F.

Who can assert attorney-client privilege?

2d 330, 334 (1993). The privilege is held by the client, who has the sole authority to waive the privilege. Nonetheless, the attorney is required to assert or invoke the privilege when necessary on behalf of the client, even without an express instruction by the client. There are few exceptions to the privilege.

Can attorney-client privilege be waived?

Unlike a client’s constitutional rights, which can only be intentionally and knowingly waived, the attorney-client privilege may be waived by a careless, unintentional or inadvertent disclosure.

Does attorney work product have to be in anticipation of litigation?

The work-product doctrine generally protects from discovery by an adverse party any materials prepared by or for a party, including by in-house counsel, “in anticipation of litigation.” As originally articulated by the United States Supreme Court in 1947, the doctrine was intended to protect from discovery written …

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