Law firm accused of colluding with client to defraud cannot claim attorney-client privilege
Randy H. Bernstein, a podiatrist, sued Barry R. Bess and the Seyburn Kahn law firm, arguing that the lawyers conspired with Kenneth Poss, another podiatrist, to fraudulently convert a jointly-owned corporation into a second corporation owned almost entirely by Poss. The lawyers claimed an attorney-client privilege and objected to discovery of their file and communications with Poss. The trial court allowed them to assert the privilege, however, the Court of Appeals reversed. It held, unanimously, that the fraud exception to the privilege applies where the Plaintiff has alleged specific facts supporting the perpetration of fraud.