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State Farm Fla. Ins. Co. v. Robert Coburn, No. 2D13-2920(2nd DCA)

The Coburn court denied State Farm’s petition for a writ of cert finding that State Farm failed to demonstrate irreparable harm under the facts of the case. State Farm had objected to the plaintiff’s discovery requests as overly broad, burdensome, and protected under the attorney-client privilege and work product doctrine. State Farm argued that the trial court departed from the essential requirements of the law by denying State Farm’s objections without conducting an in-camera review to address State Farm’s objections, and the plaintiff argued that State Farm waived its work product and attorney client privilege objections by failing to file a privilege log. The Court noted that “a party is required to file a privilege log only if the information is otherwise discoverable,” and “until a circuit court rules on the scope of discovery objection, the party responding to the discovery does not know what will fall into the category of discoverable documents.” Therefore, the court found that prior to a ruling on the scope of discovery objections, the obligation to file a privilege log had not arisen. Noting that the trial court’s order did not address State Farm’s scope of discovery objections, the 2nd DCA found that the trial court’s general denial of State Farm’s objections amounted to a determination that all of the documents were “otherwise discoverable.” The 2nd DCA found that, at that time, all of State Farm’s claims of privilege and protection became mature. The court further noted that Rule 1.280 does not provide a time limit for filing a privilege log. Therefore, the 2nd DCA denied the petition for writ of cert, but without prejudice to State Farm’s right to file a privilege log before producing the requested discovery.

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