240 GA, LLC v. Greenwich Harbor View Ass'n, Inc., Superior Court, Judicial District of Stamford-Norwalk at Stamford, 2022 WL 17102225 (Nov. 17, 2022). The plaintiff brought an action seeking declaratory relief which would allow for certain uses of a unit within a condominium association. During the action, the plaintiff asserted claims of attorney-client privilege and work product privilege regarding numerous email correspondences between the plaintiff's trial attorneys, and the plaintiff's title insurers/real estate attorneys. The defendant argued that the correspondences which occurred 18 to 22 months prior to the commencement of the underlying action cannot be privileged pursuant to the work product doctrine because there was no pending or anticipated litigation at the time. Pursuant to the Connecticut Practice Book, there is no requirement that litigation be commenced within a fixed period of time for a communication to be deemed “in anticipation of” litigation. The Court found that while there may have been a long lead-up to litigation, it could not agree with the defendant's characterization that “there was not even any anticipated litigation.” The defendant also attempted to draw a distinction between the plaintiff's real estate attorneys and trial attorneys, alleging that only the plaintiff's trial attorneys may assert claims of privilege regarding the underlying action. The plaintiff argued, and the Court agreed, that there is no identified or known basis for distinctions based on an attorney's specialty with respect to claims of privilege. Lastly, the defendant claimed that correspondences involving third parties are not entitled to invoke the work product doctrine. The defendant argued that the plaintiff's correspondences involving a third party, in this case title insurers who were also attorneys for the title insurance company, constituted voluntary disclosure or waiver of attorney-client and work product privilege. However, the Court found that the title insurance company can be claimed to have been acting in furtherance of preparation for litigation. Therefore, employees of the title insurance company would be encompassed by the privilege, particularly since the individuals in this case were attorneys working for the title insurance company.
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