Discovery: Privileges: Attorney Client

Haas v. State Fund [9/1/00] 2000 MTWCC 54 Letter from counsel for State Compensation Insurance Fund to administrator of Tort Claims Unit of State of Montana regarding notice of tort claim filed by workers' compensation claimant was an attorney-client communication and thus absolutely privileged from discovery. Hearing Examiner for Workers' Compensation Court would be made available if counsel for claimant wished confirmation that letter was in fact attorney-client communication.
Kemp v. Sedgwick Claims [5/6/98] 1998 MTWCC 35A Following respondent's objection to production of certain documents, hearing examiner conducted review of documents to determine what they were. Applying standards set out in earlier cases, e.g. Blount v. Conagara, Inc. 1994 MTWCC 24, WCC founds some documents protected by attorney-client privilege and others protected by work-product doctrine.
Church v. Travelers Indemnity Company of Illinois [4/24/97] 1997 MTWCC 22 Applying the standards regarding attorney-client privilege and work product articulated in earlier WCC decisions (Adels v. Cigna Ins. Co., WCC No. 9307-6831; Blount v. Conagera, Inc., WCC No. 9304-6769; Yager v. Montana Schools Group Ins. Co., WCC 9308-6872; Wetzel v. Ash Grove Cement, WCC No. 9108-6216), hearing examiner ordered production of several categories of documents, but held the following documents protected by work product doctrine: insurer's reserve information and rationale, notes regarding general settlement and discussion with the employer, mediation, estimated liability sheet, and letters setting out internal discussion about settlement. Attorney-client privilege and work product held to protect claims adjuster's notes regarding discussion with another claims adjuster and employer regarding liability in case.