Hickman v. Taylor
329 U.S. 495 (1947)
- The JM Taylor tugboat sank as it was towing a car float across the Delaware River.
- 5 of the 9 crew members drowned
- Fortenbaugh was an attorney for the tug boat owners
- One of the interrogatories filed by petitioner asked for exact copies of all documents pertaining to interviews with the survivors.
- Fortenbaugh refuses to hand over his files.
- He was not asked expressly to hand in the statements during the deposition
- District court held that requested matters were not privileged
Whether an attorney is required to hand over their private files and mental impressions to opposing counsel during discovery under Rule 26.
An attorney is NOT required to hand over their private files and mental impressions to opposing counsel during discovery under Rule 26.
The work product of an attorney is not discoverable under Rule 26 because lawyers have a right to keep their ideas and files private.
Rule(s) of Law:
Rule 26 (b); limitations on discovery for irrelevance or encroachment upon recognized privilege domains.
Privilege does not extend to information secured by an attorney while acting for client in anticipation of litigation.