New Legal Developments

Attorney-Client Privilege — Successor Trustees

Fiduciary Trust International of California v. Klein (2017) 9 Cal.App.5th 1184

A dispute over whether former trustee must turn over attorney-client communications to successor trustee.
Held: While it is true that the Supreme Court in Moeller v. Superior Court (1997) 16 Cal.4th 1124, distinguished between attorney communications where the trustee was acting qua trustee, as opposed to seeking legal advice in defense of a potential claim of misconduct, the Moeller court imposed a duty on the trustee to engage in some process (even as simple as paying for the attorney out of her own pocket) to distinguish documents pertaining to personal advice from those in her official capacity. Case remanded for fact-finding on the process in this case.