The Reporter covers Miller, Morgan and Camden County in Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks and is published once per week on Wednesdays.

 

Published December 27, 2017

Judge refuses attorney request

CAMDEN COUNTY – A request by Rowland Todd’s Attorney (Jerry Kirksey) for all communication between Husch Blackwell and the Commissioners Greg Hasty, Don Williams and Beverly Thomas has been denied by the judge.

Judge Brian C. Wimes of the United States District Court issued the ruling after Kirksey filed a request for what some call “privileged” information between an attorney and client (the commissioners).

In his request, Kirksey stated in his conclusion that:

“The IR (Independent Report compiled by Husch Blackwell) report is full of opinions, findings and paraphrased statements of which Plaintiff doesn’t have access of information to rebut without receipt of each communication related to the subject matters within the retaliatory publication of the report. Similarly, Hasty’s strategical assertion that the attorneys support his statement is likewise unfair without discovery as to the subject matter. Plaintiff should be allowed discovery as the subject matters within the IR and statements Hasty made calling Plaintiff a thief and threatening criminal prosecution. Fairness is implicated. Without the background, privilege and work-product, Defendant has an unfair advantage and Plaintiff prejudiced.”

According to Judge Wimes, some of the information request falls under attorney client privilege.

“Before the Court are Plaintiff’s discovery requests for all attorney-client communications and work product related to an internal investigation into Plaintiff’s conduct that was completed by Defendants’ counsel, Husch Blackwell, LLP. The Court, being duly advised of the premises, and having considered the parties’ oral arguments and briefing on these issues, denies Plaintiff’s discovery requests.

“Plaintiff argues privilege has been waived for all attorney-client communications and work product underlying the investigation report. Defendants agree that attorney-client privilege has been waived to the extent that Defendants intend to rely on the advice of counsel in defending Plaintiff’s claims, but assert that the waiver is limited in scope. Defendants further argue Plaintiff has not established waiver of the work product privilege.”

The order does not stop Kirksey from gathering certain communication between Husch Blackwell and the commissioners, but does bar the gathering of all communication.

“With respect to Plaintiff’s argument that the attorney-client privilege and/or work product privilege has been waived, the Court views this issue in the manner presented by Defendants in their discovery briefing. Waiver of the attorney-client privilege under the circumstances of this case is limited to communications about subjects for which Defendants intend to assert reliance on the advice of counsel. This limited scope of waiver applies in the context of Defendants’ communications with all four Husch Blackwell attorneys involved. To the extent Plaintiff seeks discovery into communications of subject matter not related to the investigation or the resulting report, the discovery request is denied. Likewise, Plaintiff’s request for work product is denied, in the absence of circumstances suggesting substantial need and undue hardship, or extraordinary circumstances. Accordingly, it is hereby ORDERED Plaintiff’s discovery requests for all attorney-client communications among Defendants and Husch Blackwell attorneys and requests for work product are DENIED.”

After this order was handed down by the judge, Kirksey filed subpoenas for several attorneys and personnel from Husch Blackwell (see other story on depositions)

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