TO PROTECT AND SERVE – A CASE TO ABOLISH ATTORNEY WORK PRODUCT PROTECTION AS TO ESTATE PLANNERS’ FILES IN POST-DEATH WILL OR TRUST CONTESTS
By Ciaran O’Sullivan, Esq.* and Andrew Verriere, Esq.**
The seminal case of Hickman v. Taylor1 taught every law student that the work product doctrine protected an attorney’s efforts in preparing his or her case for trial, and otherwise prevented opposing counsel from taking advantage of an attorney’s industry and efforts. The doctrine has been codified in California to say almost precisely that. Originally considered protection for litigating attorneys only, case law in California has expanded the doctrine to protect the work product of transactional lawyers as well.