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Catalina Island Yacht Club v. Superior Court

Court of Appeal of California, Fourth Appellate District, Division Three

December 4, 2015, Opinion Filed

G052062

Case Summary

Overview

HOLDINGS: [1]-Timely served written responses to inspection demands under Code Civ. Proc., §§ 2031.210, subd. (a), 2031.260, with boilerplate objections based on the attorney-client privilege and work product doctrine preserved those objections sufficiently under Code Civ. Proc., § 2031.300, subd. (a), to prevent waiver; [2]-Although a privilege log was deficient under Code Civ. Proc., § 2031.240, because it lacked sufficient information to determine whether the documents at issue were protected, the remedies available under Code Civ. Proc., § 2031.310, did not include imposing a waiver of the attorney-client privilege or work product doctrine as a sanction, and the trial court consequently abused its discretion when it ordered production of the documents based on inadequacies in the privilege log without having made a determination on the merits of the objections.

Outcome

Mandate petition granted.

LexisNexis® Headnotes

 

 

Civil Procedure > Appeals > Appellate Jurisdiction > Interlocutory Orders

Civil Procedure > Discovery & Disclosure > Discovery > Privileged Communications

Civil Procedure > ... > Writs > Common Law Writs > Mandamus

HN1  Interlocutory Orders

Interlocutory review by writ is the only adequate remedy where a court orders production of documents which may be subject to a privilege, since once privileged matter has been disclosed there is no way to undo the harm which consists in the very disclosure. The attorney-client privilege deserves a particularly high degree of protection in this regard since it is a legislatively created privilege protecting important public policy interests, particularly the confidential relationship of attorney and client and their freedom to discuss matters in confidence.

 

Civil Procedure > Appeals > Standards of Review > Abuse of Discretion

Civil Procedure > Discovery & Disclosure > Discovery

HN2  Abuse of Discretion

Discovery orders are reviewed for abuse of discretion.

 

Civil Procedure > Appeals > Standards of Review > Abuse of Discretion

HN3  Abuse of Discretion

The appropriate test for abuse of discretion is whether the trial court exceeded the bounds of reason. When two or more inferences can reasonably be deduced from the facts, the reviewing court has no authority to substitute its decision for that of the trial court. The abuse of discretion standard measures whether, given the established evidence, the act of the lower tribunal falls within the permissible range of options set by the legal criteria. The scope of discretion always resides in the particular law being applied, i.e., in the legal principles governing the subject of the action. Action that transgresses the confines of the applicable principles of law is outside the scope of discretion and such action is called an abuse of discretion. When a trial court's decision rests on an error of law, that decision is an abuse of discretion.

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242 Cal. App. 4th 1116 ; 195 Cal. Rptr. 3d 694 ; 2015 Cal. App. LEXIS 1088 

CATALINA ISLAND YACHT CLUB et al., Petitioners, v. THE SUPERIOR COURT OF ORANGE COUNTY, Respondent; TIMOTHY BEATTY et al., Real Parties in Interest.

Prior History:  [1] Original proceedings; petition for a writ of mandate to challenge an order of the Superior Court of Orange County, No. 30-2013-00679575, Kirk H. Nakamura, Judge.

Disposition: Petition granted.