Froome Wins the Tour and a Victory for Law Firms on Their Privilege

Yesterday Chris Froome won the 100th incarnation of the Tour de France. He held the leader’s position, as signified by wearing the Yellow Jersey, since Day 8 of the Tour. Froome is the second Englishman to win the race in the last 100 years, the first being Bradley Wiggins last year. Perhaps even Cubs fans can take heart from waiting 99 years to win and then having two Brits win it back-to-back. It was a great Tour this year and a big tip of the racing helmet to Chris Froome and Team Sky. (One programing request to the Tour officials – please do not begin next year’s race during the final week of Wimbledon, as my wife has control of the television during that two week event.)

This past week there was a decision by the Georgia Supreme court in the case of St. Simons Waterfront LLC v. Hunter, MacLean, Exley & Dunn, PC (No. S12G1924, decided July 11, 2013). This was a much awaited decision on the extent that a law firm could claim attorney-client privilege for its internal legal consultations in the face of a malpractice claim. The law firm had prepared certain real estate sales contracts, which were used by the firm’s client, St. Simons Waterfront LLC (SSW). After buyers began to opt out of these contracts to purchase certain properties, the law firm suggested that the company negotiate with the purchasers.

I. Background

The company demanded that the law firm work to enforce the agreements. Curriden wrote that “The lawyers for Hunter Maclean took the scolding as a sign that St. Simons Waterfront was planning a malpractice claim against them and contacted the firm’s in-house counsel immediately after the call.” He quoted the lawyer for St. Simons Waterfront who said that “Within minutes of the conference call, Hunter Maclean lawyers were already taking legal steps to defend themselves for litigation, even though they were still representing the client and would continue to represent the client for another three months ...

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