Friday, December 27, 2013

Duplan Corp. v. Moulinage et Retorderie de Chavanoz case brief

Duplan Corp. v. Moulinage et Retorderie de Chavanoz case brief summary
509 F.2d 730 (1974)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Appellant sought review of the decision of the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina in a case involving the work product privilege pursuant toFed R. Civ. P. 26(b) (3). The district court had ordered the production of attorney work product materials that were prepared in previously terminated litigation that was unrelated to the instant case.

CASE FACTS
The case focused on whether an attorney's opinion work product material developed in prior terminated litigation could properly become the subject of discovery in connection with subsequent litigation. The case involved the work product doctrine and the scope of the protection afforded a lawyer's mental impressions, conclusions, opinions, or legal theories by Fed R. Civ. P. 26(b) (3). The trial court ordered appellant to produce work product materials that were prepared in prior litigation that had since been terminated.

DISCUSSION

  • On appeal, the court held that work product material, as distinguished from material not containing mental impressions, conclusions, opinions, or legal theories, was immune from discovery, even though the litigation in which it was developed had been terminated. 
  • The court stated that the legal profession and the interests of the public were better served by recognizing the qualified immunity of such materials.

CONCLUSION
The court vacated the decision of the lower court and remanded the case.


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