Key Insight: The work product doctrine applies when litigation is reasonably foreseeable. Generally, litigation is anticipated when an insurance claim is denied. Here, the lawsuit was filed before the claim was formally denied, but after Defendant began investigating the legitimacy of the claim and evaluating potential defenses and exemptions. Defendant argues litigation was anticipated immediately upon receipt of Plaintiff’s insurance claim. Plaintiff contends that litigation was not anticipated until the lawsuit was filed. The Court disagreed with both positions. After the insurance claim was filed, the primary purpose of the documents created was to gather information to evaluate the claim not in anticipation of litigation. The Court found that litigation was reasonably anticipated when Plaintiff informed Defendant he had retained counsel. Defendant responded to the notification as if litigation were imminent. All documents created from that point forward were created in anticipation of litigation. As such, those documents are protected work product.
Nature of Case: Insurance Claim, Theft of business property
Electronic Data Involved: Business Records, Insurance Claim File