Communications between Counsel and PR Firm Hired by Counsel Held Discoverable

March 22, 2017
Kevin R. Crisp, David W. Evans, & Sarah A. Marsey – Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP

Counsel handling cases involving newsworthy facts and litigation often hire public relations (“PR”) consultants. In Nicholas Behunin v. The Superior Court of Los Angeles County, 2017 DJDAR 2405 (No. B272225 March 14, 2017) the California Court of Appeal, Second District, denied a petition for writ of mandate concerning a trial court discovery order holding that communications between a plaintiff’s attorney and a public relations firm counsel hired for the purpose of creating a website for the Plaintiff were discoverable, despite claims that such communications were protected from disclosure by attorney-client privilege.

Plaintiff sued Defendants -- (the) Charles Schwab and his son Michael Schwab -- over an unsuccessful real estate investment. Plaintiff’s attorneys hired a public relations consultant to create a website ( that sought to link the Schwabs with the late Indonesian dictator Suharto’s family. The court succinctly described the web site as “a social media campaign to induce the Schwabs to settle the case.”

Reprinted courtesy of Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP attorneys Kevin R. Crisp, David W. Evans and Sarah A. Marsey

Mr. Crisp may be contacted at
Mr. Evans may be contacted at
Ms. Marsey may be contacted at


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