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Jarquin v. Blanks

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit

August 21, 2019

TIMOTHY L. JARQUIN
v.
DANNY R. BLANKS, INDIVIDUALLY AND IN HIS CAPACITY AS A MEMBER AND MANAGER OF PONTCHARTRAIN PARTNERS, L.L.C.; BARLOW J. COOK, INDIVIDUALLY AND IN HIS CAPACITY AS A MEMBER OF PONTCHARTRAIN PARTNERS, L.L.C.; JAMES R. WASHINGTON, III, INDIVIDUALLY AND IN HIS CAPACITY AS A MEMBER OF PONTCHARTRAIN PARTNERS, L.L.C.; AND MARY LEBLANC, INDIVIDUALLY AND IN HER CAPACITY AS DIRECTOR OF HUMAN RESOURCES OF PONTCHARTRAIN PARTNERS, L.L.C.

          APPEAL FROM CIVIL DISTRICT COURT, ORLEANS PARISH NO. 2017-10461, DIVISION "G-11" Honorable Robin M. Giarrusso, Judge

          Stephen D. Marx P.J. Stakelum III CHEHARDY, SHERMAN. WILLIAMS, RECILE, STAKELUM & HAYES, L.L.P. COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE

          Jason R. Anders ANDERS LAW FIRM COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT

          Court composed of Judge Terri F. Love, Judge Regina Bartholomew-Woods, Judge Paula A. Brown

          Regina Bartholomew-Woods Judge

         Appellant, Pontchartrain Partners, LLC (hereinafter sometimes referred to as "PPLLC"), seeks review of the district court's December 27, 2018 judgment denying its motion to quash, which it filed in response to a request for subpoena duces tecum filed by Appellee, Timothy Jarquin.[1] For the reasons that follow, we vacate the judgment of the district court, and remand this matter to the district court for specific findings on the applicability of the attorney-client privilege to the facts of this case.

         BACKGROUND

         This matter has been before this Court a number of times to address different issues. The relevant factual background is set forth in this Court's opinion Jarquin v. Blanks, 2018-0157 (La.App. 4 Cir. 8/15/18), 254 So.3d 10. Of note, the named defendants in the lawsuit are all members of PPLLC, with James Washington, III, serving as general counsel to the company.

         On December 18, 2017, Appellee filed a request for subpoena duces tecum directed to the records custodian of Appellant, a non-party to the litigation. Therein, Appellee requested production of documents and things as described in thirty-five separate paragraphs. Many of the requests specifically name Mr. Washington.

         Appellant responded to the subpoena with a motion to quash filed on January 4, 2018. While the motion to quash argued several bases in support of quashal, Appellant briefed only one such basis on appeal; that is, the subpoena calls for the production of records potentially protected by the attorney-client privilege.

         The district court held a hearing on the motion on November 30, 2018. At the hearing, the district found that Appellee was entitled to all the documents requested. The judgment was reduced to writing on December 27, 2018.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         The question of whether an attorney-client relationship exists is a question of fact, and thus subject to manifest error analysis. Keith v. Keith, 48, 919, pp. 9-10 (La.App. 2 Cir. 5/15/14), 140 So.3d 1202, 1208-09. A trial court's ruling on a motion to quash is reviewed for abuse of ...


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