This case involves an intersection between two rules involving the attorney-client privilege. One rule is that in a lawsuit between an attorney and a client based on an alleged breach of a duty arising from the attorney-client relationship, attorney-client communications relevant to the breach are not protected by the attorney-client privilege. Another rule is when multiple clients retain or consult with an attorney on a matter of common interest and the joint clients sue each other, then the communications between either client and the attorney made in the course of that relationship are not privileged in the suit between the clients. In the present situation, joint clients did not sue each other, but one of them sued their former attorney. The question is whether the non-suing client may prevent the parties to the lawsuit from discovering or introducing otherwise privileged attorney-client communications made in the course of the joint representation. The appellate court held: “In a lawsuit between the attorney and one or more of the attorney’s joint clients, based on an alleged breach of a duty arising from the attorney-client relationship, relevant communications between the attorney and any of the joint clients, made in the course of the attorney-joint-client relationship, are not privileged.” (Anten v. Sup. Ct. (Weintraub Tobin Chediak Coleman Grodin Law Corp.) (Cal. App. Second Dist., Div. 1; January 30, 2015) (As modified February 10, 2015) 233 Cal.App.4th 1254, [183 Cal.Rptr.3d 422].)
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