A recent order by U.S. Magistrate Arthur Boylan (D. Minn.) is worthy of note in several respects. First, a lawyer actually appears to have argued that creating and producing a privilege log to the opposing party violates Minnesota Rules of Professional Responsibility. Second, Judge Boylan addresses the subtler question of what communications between a creditor and its law firm/debt collector would constitute privileged communications. Third, the decision touches on the interesting question of whether and to what extent an engagement letter between law firm and law firm customer (also often known as a client) is privileged. Fourth, and finally, Judge Boylan imposed attorneys’ fees of $3,000 for the plaintiffs’ fees and costs for having to bring the motion.
Discovery disputes are routine; imposition of fee shifting from discovery disputes seems relatively rare, at least in Minnesota state and federal courts.
(Judge Boylan’s order is here.)