Underwriters at Lloyd's, In re, Nos. 81-1372

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore BRYAN, Senior Circuit Judge, and PHILLIPS and ERVIN; PER CURIAM
Citation666 F.2d 55
PartiesIn re UNDERWRITERS AT LLOYD'S and British Insurance Companies, Petitioners. FEDERAL LEASING, INC., etc., Appellee, and Kirchner, Moore and Company, et al., Plaintiffs, v. UNDERWRITERS AT LLOYD'S, et al., Appellants, v. SUBURBAN TRUST COMPANY, etc., Appellee, and Federal Leasing, Inc., et al., Counterdefendants. FEDERAL LEASING, INC., etc., Appellee, and Kirchner, Moore and Company, et al., Plaintiffs, v. UNDERWRITERS AT LLOYD'S, et al., Appellants, v. SUBURBAN TRUST COMPANY, etc., Appellee, and Federal Leasing, Inc., et al., Counterdefendants. (L), 81-1395 and 81-1516.
Docket NumberNos. 81-1372
Decision Date09 December 1981

Page 55

666 F.2d 55
In re UNDERWRITERS AT LLOYD'S and British Insurance
Companies, Petitioners.
FEDERAL LEASING, INC., etc., Appellee,
and
Kirchner, Moore and Company, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
UNDERWRITERS AT LLOYD'S, et al., Appellants,
v.
SUBURBAN TRUST COMPANY, etc., Appellee,
and
Federal Leasing, Inc., et al., Counterdefendants.
FEDERAL LEASING, INC., etc., Appellee,
and
Kirchner, Moore and Company, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
UNDERWRITERS AT LLOYD'S, et al., Appellants,
v.
SUBURBAN TRUST COMPANY, etc., Appellee,
and
Federal Leasing, Inc., et al., Counterdefendants.
Nos. 81-1372(L), 81-1395 and 81-1516.
United States Court of Appeals,
Fourth Circuit.
Argued Oct. 7, 1981.
Decided Dec. 9, 1981.

Page 56

John D. Gordan, III, New York City (Eugene F. Bannigan, New York City, Walter C. Alesevich, Lord, Day & Lord, New York City, John E. Sandbower, III, Robert J. Carson, Phillips P. O'Shaughnessy, Smith, Sommerville & Case, Baltimore, Md., on brief), for appellants.

John Doar, New York City, Benjamin Rosenberg, Baltimore, Md. (G. Stewart Webb, Jr., Venable, Baetjer & Howard, Baltimore, Md., on brief), for appellee.

Before BRYAN, Senior Circuit Judge, and PHILLIPS and ERVIN, Circuit Judges.

PER CURIAM:

These appeals are sequels to the litigation detailed in the opinion of this Court in Federal Leasing, Inc. v. Underwriters at Lloyd's, 650 F.2d 495 (CA4 1981). The origin of the controversy is the agreement of March 13, 1978, between Underwriters at Lloyd's (Underwriters) and Federal Leasing, Inc. (FLI), respectively appellant and appellee here. On June 12, 1978, in the Federal District Court for Maryland, FLI sued Underwriters for breach of this agreement, seeking compensatory and punitive damages. On April 17, 1980, the District Judge issued an injunction pendente lite requiring Underwriters to perform its obligations 1 under the March 13 agreement, 487 F.Supp. 1248 (D.Md.1980); we affirmed, 650 F.2d 495 (CA4 1981).

As events followed toward trial on the merits, FLI made demand upon Underwriters to produce certain documents then in the latter's possession. Upon Underwriters' refusal of these demands, FLI moved the court to compel discovery of these papers. Underwriters resisted the motion, asserting that these documents were not discoverable because they were protected by the attorney-client privilege and the "work product doctrine." The trial judge, on March 3, 1981, overruled Underwriters' objections and ordered the documents produced.

Underwriters' initial response to the District Court's ruling was to move that court to reconsider its decision. The District Judge not only reaffirmed his earlier ruling but, finding that reconsideration was not substantially justified, he ordered Underwriters to pay FLI's counsel fees incurred in responding to the motion pursuant to Rule 37(a)(4) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Appeal No. 81-1516, consolidated herein, is Underwriters' attempt to have this order reviewed. Following the disposition of its motion to reconsider, Underwriters petitioned this Court for a writ of mandamus directing the District Court to vacate its order compelling discovery. 2

I

The subject of this endeavor is a collection of six documents that divide into three classes. The first comprises an opinion letter of the LeBoeuf law firm, counsel for Underwriters, and a second letter, drafted by an officer of Underwriters' claims adjusters, detailing the LeBoeuf letter. The essence of LeBoeuf's advice was that litigation over FLI's claims be avoided as adverse results were probable. FLI obtained a draft copy of this letter under disputed circumstances; this draft and the final

Page 57

opinion letter are "almost identical." Federal Leasing, Inc. v. Underwriters at Lloyd's, No. H-79-1088, slip op. at 5 (D.Md. March 3, 1981). Upon consideration of affidavits presented by both parties, the District Court concluded that a copy of the draft letter was given voluntarily to FLI's attorney at a time when the parties "were working...

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12 practice notes
  • Robinson v. Tanner, No. 85-7456
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
    • 9 Septiembre 1986
    ...777 F.2d 385, 386 (7th Cir.1985); Meche v. Dan-Tex International, Inc., 681 F.2d 264, 265 (5th Cir.1982); In re Underwriters at Lloyd's, 666 F.2d 55, 58 (4th Cir.1981); Eastern Maico Distributors v. Maico-Fahrzeugfabrik, 658 F.2d 944, 947 (3d Cir.1981); Johnny Pflocks, Inc. v. Firestone Tir......
  • Dardar v. Lafourche Realty Co., Inc., No. 87-3629
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • 18 Julio 1988
    ...Cir.1968); Eastern Maico Distributors, Inc. v. Maico-Fahrzeugfabrik, G.m.b.H., 658 F.2d 944 (3rd Cir.1981); In re Underwriters at Lloyd's, 666 F.2d 55 (4th Cir.1981); Ruiz v. Estelle, 609 F.2d 118 (5th Cir.1980); Pflocks v. Firestone Tire & Rubber Co., 634 F.2d 1215 (9th Cir.1980). Denials ......
  • MDK, Inc. v. Mike's Train House, Inc., No. 93-2230
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Fourth Circuit
    • 22 Junio 1994
    ...(holding orders imposing certain noncontempt discovery sanctions nonreviewable Page 121 under Cohen); In re Underwriters at Lloyd's, 666 F.2d 55, 58 (4th Cir.1981) (same). We recognize, of course, that this case does not present the routine discovery dispute between two parties to a court p......
  • Reed v. Hess, No. 57598
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Kansas
    • 28 Marzo 1986
    ...under the collateral order exception. Meche v. Dan-Tex International, Inc., 681 F.2d 264 (5th Cir.1982); In re Underwriters at Lloyd's, 666 F.2d 55 (4th Cir.1981); Eastern Maico Distributors, Inc. v. Maico-Fabrzeugfabrik, 658 F.2d 944 (3d Cir.1981); Johnny Pflocks v. Firestone Tire & Rubber......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
12 cases
  • Robinson v. Tanner, No. 85-7456
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
    • 9 Septiembre 1986
    ...777 F.2d 385, 386 (7th Cir.1985); Meche v. Dan-Tex International, Inc., 681 F.2d 264, 265 (5th Cir.1982); In re Underwriters at Lloyd's, 666 F.2d 55, 58 (4th Cir.1981); Eastern Maico Distributors v. Maico-Fahrzeugfabrik, 658 F.2d 944, 947 (3d Cir.1981); Johnny Pflocks, Inc. v. Firestone Tir......
  • Dardar v. Lafourche Realty Co., Inc., No. 87-3629
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • 18 Julio 1988
    ...Cir.1968); Eastern Maico Distributors, Inc. v. Maico-Fahrzeugfabrik, G.m.b.H., 658 F.2d 944 (3rd Cir.1981); In re Underwriters at Lloyd's, 666 F.2d 55 (4th Cir.1981); Ruiz v. Estelle, 609 F.2d 118 (5th Cir.1980); Pflocks v. Firestone Tire & Rubber Co., 634 F.2d 1215 (9th Cir.1980). Denials ......
  • MDK, Inc. v. Mike's Train House, Inc., No. 93-2230
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Fourth Circuit
    • 22 Junio 1994
    ...(holding orders imposing certain noncontempt discovery sanctions nonreviewable Page 121 under Cohen); In re Underwriters at Lloyd's, 666 F.2d 55, 58 (4th Cir.1981) (same). We recognize, of course, that this case does not present the routine discovery dispute between two parties to a court p......
  • Reed v. Hess, No. 57598
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Kansas
    • 28 Marzo 1986
    ...under the collateral order exception. Meche v. Dan-Tex International, Inc., 681 F.2d 264 (5th Cir.1982); In re Underwriters at Lloyd's, 666 F.2d 55 (4th Cir.1981); Eastern Maico Distributors, Inc. v. Maico-Fabrzeugfabrik, 658 F.2d 944 (3d Cir.1981); Johnny Pflocks v. Firestone Tire & Rubber......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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