Minnesota Litigator noted the Versacold vs. Inland American Brooklyn Park litigation about a year ago, only because the case appeared to hinge on Icelandic law, generally uncommon in Minnesota litigation. The case’s glacial pace might be appropriate? Currently before Senior U.S. District Court David S. Doty is an interesting little problem faced by Plaintiff Versacold.
Company A (Versacold) hires Contractor A in connection with a thorny business transaction in which Company B is adverse. Company A has also hired Outside Lawyer A in connection with the transaction.
Outside Lawyer A communicates candidly with Contractor A, through emails — communications that would indisputably have been privileged had the communications been between Company A and the lawyer. Contractor A is subpoena’d, produces 5,200 pages on the day before a representative of the company is deposed, and Company A regrets seeing what it views as privileged documents produced.
The issues to be decided after the Court’s 10/29 hearing seem simple and clearcut: would the attorney-client privilege apply to communications not between attorney and client, but between attorney and client’s independent contractor? (Could the attorney work product doctrine not have been invoked?) The paucity of case law in plaintiff’s memorandum in support of its motion may be foreshadowing?