Patel v. MartinAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Judicial Court held a party in a civil case has no right to an immediate appeal from a discovery order under the doctrine of present execution but nevertheless retains two other avenues to seek immediate appellate review of an interlocutory order.
Plaintiffs brought a civil action against Defendants. During discovery, Plaintiffs sought certain information. The motion judge found that, contrary to Defendants’ claims, the information was not protected by the attorney-client privilege. Defendants filed a notice of appeal seeking review under the doctrine of present execution and also brought a petition pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 231, 118 seeking interlocutory relief. The Supreme Judicial Court held (1) orders requiring the disclosure of privileged material, such as the order in this case, are not appealable under the doctrine of present execution; and (2) although this appeal was not properly before the Court under the doctrine of present execution, the Court exercised its discretion under its superintendence authority to reach the merits and held that it must remand the matter to the motion judge for further factual findings.