In re City of Dickinson (Opinion)Annotate this Case
In this discovery dispute, the Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals vacating the trial court’s discovery orders that failed to recognize the attorney-client privilege, holding that Texas’s expert discovery rules are subject to the attorney-client privilege, which is not waived by a client’s decision to offer expert testimony in the client’s own case.
The City of Dickinson argued that attorney-client email communications in the underlying litigation about the client’s expert testimony were discoverable because the City, as the client’s opposing party, was entitled to discover documents related to a testifying expert’s testimony. The trial court agreed and ordered Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, the client who planned to testify as an expert witness in its own case, to produce the emails. The court of appeals granted mandamus relief, concluding that the attorney-client communications were protected. The City then filed this mandamus petition in the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court denied relief, holding that the discovery rules did not waive the attorney-client privilege under these circumstances.