By John Pinkney
The Exemptions For Litigation
When involved in either a pending claim or litigation, documents that have been prepared specially and are connected to a litigation that has been filed can be stopped from going to the disclosure process. This is in accordance with Section 6254 (b). Any exemptions are only applied to documentation that has been created after the litigation has already been concealed. Any claim that has initiated the process of the court does not apply.
Records are not protected from disclosure once the litigation has been completely resolved. The privilege between clients and their attorneys may still continue. Any records considered to be nonexempt that pertain to litigation can be disclosed to those who request them. This includes any prospective or parties who are actually involved. If it is the belief of the agency that releasing these records will violate an order for discovery, the court must address it.
The Attorney Client Privilege
This is the confidential information between a client and their attorney. This privilege does apply in matters of both litigation and no litigation. This privilege is part of the evidence code and does not expire unless it has been waived.
The Attorney’s Work
There is a rule called the attorney work product. This was written to cover an attorney’s conclusions, their impressions and analysis, as well as any research they have done. This rule is part of the Code of Civil Procedure. Any records that have become a part of this rule retain lifetime confidentiality in any litigation or no litigation.
Since these laws can be complicated and difficult to understand, sometimes the best choice is to have a consultation with a good legal firm. Our Coachella Valley government legal counsel is familiar with these matters and is able to offer assistance.