Posts tagged "1012113"

RFF Family Partnership, LP v. Burns & Levinson, LLP, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-121-13)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA 02108-1750;  (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us     SJC‑11371   RFF FAMILY PARTNERSHIP, LP  vs.  BURNS & LEVINSON, LLP, & others.[1]       Suffolk.     March 4, 2013.  ‑  July 10, 2013. Present:  Ireland, C.J., Spina, Botsford, Gants, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ.       Privileged Communication.  Evidence, Privileged communication.  Attorney at Law, Attorney‑client relationship, In‑house counsel.  Partnership, Attorneys.  Rules of Professional Conduct.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on June 13, 2012.   A motion for a protective order was considered by Thomas P. Billings, J.   A proceeding for interlocutory review was heard in the Appeals Court by Gary S. Katzmann, J.  The Supreme Judicial Court on its own initiative transferred the case from the Appeals Court.     Richard E. Briansky (Amy B. Hackett with him) for the plaintiff. Thomas E. Peisch (Erin K. Higgins, Andrew R. Dennington, & Russell F. Conn with him) for Burns & Levinson, LLP, & others. Jared M. Barnes, for Boston Bar Association, amicus curiae, was present but did not argue.   The following submitted briefs for amici curiae: Roy A. Bourgeois & Benjamin C. Rudolf for Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers. Laurel G. Bellows, of Illinois, & Holly M. Polglase & Matthew C. Kalin for American Bar Association. Richard M. Zielinski, Timothy J. Dacey, & Gary M. Ronan for Attorneys’ Liability Assurance Society, Inc.     GANTS, J.  The issue presented on appeal is whether confidential communications between law firm attorneys and a law firm’s in-house counsel concerning a malpractice claim asserted by a current client of the firm are protected from disclosure to the client by the attorney-client privilege.  We conclude that they are, provided that (1) the law firm has designated an attorney or attorneys within the firm to represent the firm as in-house counsel, (2) the in-house counsel has not performed any work on the client matter at issue or a substantially related matter, (3) the time spent by the attorneys in these communications with in-house counsel is not billed to a client, and (4) the communications are made in confidence and kept confidential.  Because these criteria were met in this case, we affirm the judge’s order allowing the defendant law firm and its attorneys to invoke the attorney-client privilege to preserve the confidentiality of these communications.[2]   Background.  The plaintiff RFF Family Partnership, LP (RFF), made a $ 1.4 million commercial loan to […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - July 11, 2013 at 7:12 am

Categories: News   Tags: , , , , , ,

RFF Family Partnership, LP v. Burns & Levinson, LLP, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-121-13)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA 02108-1750;  (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us     SJC‑11371   RFF FAMILY PARTNERSHIP, LP  vs.  BURNS & LEVINSON, LLP, & others.[1]       Suffolk.     March 4, 2013.  ‑  July 10, 2013. Present:  Ireland, C.J., Spina, Botsford, Gants, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ.       Privileged Communication.  Evidence, Privileged communication.  Attorney at Law, Attorney‑client relationship, In‑house counsel.  Partnership, Attorneys.  Rules of Professional Conduct.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on June 13, 2012.   A motion for a protective order was considered by Thomas P. Billings, J.   A proceeding for interlocutory review was heard in the Appeals Court by Gary S. Katzmann, J.  The Supreme Judicial Court on its own initiative transferred the case from the Appeals Court.     Richard E. Briansky (Amy B. Hackett with him) for the plaintiff. Thomas E. Peisch (Erin K. Higgins, Andrew R. Dennington, & Russell F. Conn with him) for Burns & Levinson, LLP, & others. Jared M. Barnes, for Boston Bar Association, amicus curiae, was present but did not argue.   The following submitted briefs for amici curiae: Roy A. Bourgeois & Benjamin C. Rudolf for Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers. Laurel G. Bellows, of Illinois, & Holly M. Polglase & Matthew C. Kalin for American Bar Association. Richard M. Zielinski, Timothy J. Dacey, & Gary M. Ronan for Attorneys’ Liability Assurance Society, Inc.     GANTS, J.  The issue presented on appeal is whether confidential communications between law firm attorneys and a law firm’s in-house counsel concerning a malpractice claim asserted by a current client of the firm are protected from disclosure to the client by the attorney-client privilege.  We conclude that they are, provided that (1) the law firm has designated an attorney or attorneys within the firm to represent the firm as in-house counsel, (2) the in-house counsel has not performed any work on the client matter at issue or a substantially related matter, (3) the time spent by the attorneys in these communications with in-house counsel is not billed to a client, and (4) the communications are made in confidence and kept confidential.  Because these criteria were met in this case, we affirm the judge’s order allowing the defendant law firm and its attorneys to invoke the attorney-client privilege to preserve the confidentiality of these communications.[2]   Background.  The plaintiff RFF Family Partnership, LP (RFF), made a $ 1.4 million commercial loan to […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - July 11, 2013 at 7:12 am

Categories: News   Tags: , , , , , ,