Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Work Product Protection 

We've moved into Discovery in Civil Procedure, and have been discussing work product / trial preparation (among many, many other things) the last couple of classes. Serendipitously, the ABA Journal this past week published a related article, "Hand It Over - Courts Differ on When a Lawyer Must Turn Over Materials to Successor Counsel," by Elizabeth Cohen. It discusses the situation where you've been disqualified from a case based on your previous representation of the opposing party. Basically, she recommends that if the cases are substantially related enough to have had you disqualified, you should presume that your work product is also completely tainted until and unless the judge rules otherwise. The discussion was helpful for me in getting a better handle on the questions of work product in general.

On a side note: We were on school break last week, and our Civ Pro prof. last night opened with an break-related anectode. Apparently he and his wife went away and were staying in a motel. One morning he was up and getting ready for the day, when there was a knock at the door. It was housekeeping, and she was surprised to see someone in the room. She checked her clipboard and informed the prof. that she had him "listed as vacant and dirty." The laughter this evoked from the class was only topped by his follow up statement that when he had related this story to one of his colleagues, she immediately replied, "Oh, she must have had access to your student evaluations."

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 9:58 AM