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J D Haas
J D Haas, Lawyer (JD)
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 2998
Experience:  21 years as a serious injury/wrongful death trial lawyer; nationally board certified; 43 jury trials
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We are plaintiffs in a civil lawsuit against a builder for ...

Customer Question

We are plaintiffs in a civil lawsuit against a builder for fraud, consumer fraud and several other counts. A few months after the lawsuit was filed and shortly after our discovery response, we changed law firms. Our previous attorneys file copy was given to our current lawyers -who have proceeded with the case for the past 2 yrs. This prior attorney as well as the builder''s atty are both fact witnesses in the case due to a verbal conversation that defendants attorney claims to have had with our prior attorney which was refuted in writing 24 hours after the supposed conversation occurred by our previous attorney. Both have been deposed. Builders attorney is demanding a total review of our previous attorneys file and completion of a privilege log (no motion filed yet). Our lawyers asked the builders attorney (not the trial attorney but same firm) - for a copy of his file - he said it merged with the trial file - can''t we demand a review as well? How do we protect our rights to privlg
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  J D Haas replied 6 years ago.
No one can guarantee the judge's decision in this case. It is difficult to overcome an objection based upon the attorney/client privilege; however, one way in which it can be overcome is if the attorney is a witness and no longer trial counsel. In your case; however, it is not clear that the complete file must be given in order to investigate the attorney's testimony about a conversation. Your current law firm will interpose an objection on the basis of attorney/client privilege and that privilege still may apply under the facts that you have given. If the privilege is overcome, then balance should be used to allow both sides similar access to privileged information. Good luck.

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J D Haas, Lawyer (JD)
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 2998
Experience: 21 years as a serious injury/wrongful death trial lawyer; nationally board certified; 43 jury trials
J D Haas and 15 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Reply to J D Haas's Post: Thank you - one other question - the defendant's attorney has asked for a complete review of the file- the only any "specific" documents requested were bills. Are they required to narrow down their request before our attorneys object - or can our attorneys object because the request is too broad?

Also, the defendants attorney mentioned us waiving the atty client privilege due to a fraud claim against builder. Doesn't the fraud crime exception apply to the defendant - atty relationship not us? No one is claiming we committed fraud-
Expert:  J D Haas replied 6 years ago.
Your attorney can object to the broadness and insert the privilege. I do not understand the fraud claim statement unless your state has a specific link between attorney/client privilege and fraud cases. I tend to agree with your analysis.

I hope that I have helped you, answered all of your questions,
and that I have provided you with useful information.
Please ask more questions if I have not answered all of your
questions.

In the future, if you would like to specifically ask me a question,
you can ask for me in the body of the question.


Please be aware that my answer is not legal advice,
it is merely information. For a specific answer to your unique
facts you need to contact a lawyer in your area. I do not have
access to all of the information that a local lawyer has.
The only way that I am legally responsible for your legal rights is
if you have signed a written retainer agreement with my law firm.

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J D Haas
J D Haas
1874 Satisfied Customers
21 years as a serious injury/wrongful death trial lawyer; nationally board certified; 43 jury trials