Work Product Privilege in Florida

In the seminal case of Hickman v. Taylor, 329 U.S. 495, 67 S.Ct. 385 (1947), the U.S. Supreme Court essentially created the modern work-product privilege or doctrine by holding that some types of statements of witnesses obtained by an attorney prior to trial were privileged and thus protected from discovery.

The Court reasoned that to allow otherwise would be contrary to the public policy underlying the orderly and just prosecution and defense of claims.

Florida’s courts subsequently adopted the work product privilege and it eventually became incorporated into the Florida rules of civil and criminal procedure.

In Florida, the courts generally use the same principles when applying the work-product privilege in either civil cases or criminal cases.

From a public policy standpoint, the main objective of the work-product doctrine is to preserve the effective assistance of attorneys and others employed to help prepare a case for trial.

Maintaining the privacy of communications between client, attorney, and others employed in preparing for litigation fosters the effectiveness of legal assistance upon which our adversarial system of justice depends, especially when it relates to privacy in the development of legal theories, opinions, and strategies.

Additional Resources

Work Product Privilege in Florida – Visit the Florida Bar website to learn more about how the work product privilege is applied in civil and criminal cases in Florida.

This article was last updated on Tuesday, June 30, 2020.