Ardon v. City of Los AngelesAnnotate this Case
Plaintiff filed a class action lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles challenging the validity of a certain tax and seeking a refund of taxes. In 2007, during discovery proceedings in the underlying litigation, the trial court determined that certain documents the City possessed were privileged under either the the attorney-client privilege or the privilege for attorney work product. In 2013, Plaintiff filed a request under the California Public Records Act seeking to obtain copies of documents relating to the tax at issue. The City’s administrative office, in response, inadvertently provided Plaintiff with some of the privileged documents. The City filed a motion for an order compelling the return of the privileged material. The trial court denied the motion, concluding that the production of the documents under the Public Records Act had waived any privilege. The Court of Appeal affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Cal. Gov’t Code 6254.5, which generally provides that “disclosure” of a public record waives any privilege, applies to an intentional, not an inadvertent, disclosure. Remanded.