Adler v. Greenfield

Illinois Appellate Court
Civil Court
Legal Malpractice
Case Number: 
2013 IL App (1st) 121066
Decision Date: 
Friday, May 24, 2013
1st Dist.
Cook Co., 6th Div.
Contempt order vacated; discovery order affirmed in part and reversed in part.
Discovery dispute arose during litigation of legal malpractice action. Plaintiffs, third-party beneficiaries of a will, allege that attorney was negligent in failing to follow testator's intention and include certain provision in a will that would have entitled them to a greater inheritance. Communications between attorney and bank (co-executor and co-trustee) that occurred prior to testator's death, about testator's estate, are shielded from discovery by attorney-client privilege. Trial court should conduct in camera determination of whether documents are privileged. Communications occurring between attorney and bank after testator's death are not privileged. Attorney acted in good faith to serve their client, and thus contempt order is vacated. (HALL and REYES, concurring.)