Monday, February 5, 2018

Pennsylvania Supreme Court to Address Attorney-Client Privilege/Attorney Work Product Doctrine Issues

On January 30, 2018, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a per curiam Order agreeing to hear the appeal on the case of BouSamra v. Excela Health, No. 318 WAL 2017 (Pa. Jan. 30, 2018), to hear argument on the issue of whether a law firm’s sending of pre-litigation emails to a public relations firm serves to waive the attorney work-product doctrine, and whether a third party must provide legal advice, or be acting under the control of an attorney or the client, to qualify as a privileged person.  

Tort Talkers may recall that the Pennsylvania Superior Court previously determined in this case that emails involving an internal investigation that were sent by a hospital’s attorney to a public relations firm were not barred from discovery under the attorney-client privilege or the work-product doctrine.  Here is a LINK to the Tort Talk blog post on that decision.

Anyone wishing to review a copy of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's Order granting the appeal may click this LINK.

Source:  “Justices to Eye Discoverability of Emails Between Hospital Counsel and PR Firm” by Max Mitchell of The Legal Intelligencer (Feb. 1, 2018).   

UPDATE:  Click HERE for the Tort Talk post summarizing the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's decision in this case outlining a new standard for the attorney work product doctrine.

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