Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fourth District Quashes Order Requiring Production Of Privileged Documents

In Alliant Insurance Services, Inc. v. Reimer Insurance Group (4D09-3594), the Fourth District granted certiorari and quashed a decision of the trial court requiring the production of allegedly privileged documents.
A trial court’s order erroneously compelling discovery of information protected from discovery by the attorney-client privilege is reviewable by certiorari...
If a party seeks to compel the disclosure of documents that the opposing party claims are protected by attorney-client privilege, the party claiming the privilege is entitled to an in camera review of the documents by the trial court prior to disclosure...
Similarly, if attorney-client privilege is waived regarding a certain matter, the waiver is limited to communications on the same matter....If the parties disagree as to the scope of the privilege waiver, a trial court must delineate the scope of the waiver before it may compel discovery of information.
The court also included a footnote about the use of a motion for rehearing in the trial courts when dealing with a non-final order.  The court stated:
A motion for rehearing is not authorized from an interlocutory or non-final order. Wagner v. Bieley, Wagner & Assoc., Inc., 263 So. 2d 1, 3 (Fla. 1972). While such a motion does not toll the time for petitioning for certiorari relief, this does not mean that trial courts are precluded from considering rehearing.


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