FEN PHEN LAWYER WILLIAM GALLION SAYS ANGELA FORD SEIZED HIS LAPTOP WITH CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS WITH HIS ATTORNEY, IN VIOLATION OF ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGE

 

By LawReader Senior Editor Stan Billingsley            Posted  July 22, 2011

 

In an e-mail sent to LawReader, Fen Phen defendant William Gallion says that attorney Angela Ford seized his personal computer, made copies of his privileged  work product, placed the computer up for sale at a judicial auction, and then outbid Gallion’s representatives and purchased the computer for $7000.

 

Gallion says that Ford was acting as an agent of the U.S. when she seized his privileged communications with his attorney.   Ford is also the plaintiff’s attorney in the Boone County Civil action which is currently on appeal to the Supreme Court, after the Court of Appeals ordered a retrial.

 

This seizure of Gallion’s privileged communications will surely be raised in any retrial of the criminal action (which is on appeal to the Sixth Circuit) and in the retrial in the Boone Circuit Court in the civil action.  The Kentucky Court of Appeals has remanded the civil case for retrial. Ford has appealed that reversal to the Ky. Supreme Court.  Usually a remand for trial is held by caselaw to be an interlocutory appeal, and it remains to be seen if the Supreme Court will grant Ford’s appeal of the Court of Appeals remand order.

 

Gallion’s e-mail – Thursday July 21, 2011:

 

“The computer was the laptop I had with me in the Boone Co. jail and which Hale updated whenever he was there and which I used to compile my defense.  It also had all of the files from the civil case including all of the emails from and to my attorneys.  After the mistrial and I was home.  I used it every day to email with my attorneys in both cases.  It had all of Hale’s emails and trial strategies we discussed.  It was my office while incarcerated and before trial.”  (Hale is apparently Gallion’s attorney.)

 

“Ford took it when she came into my house and took all of my personal belonging. (sic) She ignored us. I understand that she had the hard drive copied and then put the computer into the judicial sale. My family was there and tried to buy it back as it has all of my work on it and the information could never be reproduced in order to allow me to defend the civil case or the criminal case if reversed. It is a $700 Dell laptop when new. Ford got into a bidding war with Melissa (Gallion’s girlfriend) and bought it for $7000.  She still has it and now has all of my work product and privileged communication.”

 

” She was and is the agent of the Gov.  Her conduct is imputed to the gov.  If it was anyone other than me she would be recused from the civil case and brought up on charges of misconduct. Even Wolfson’s hack lawyer/advisors would agree with that.”

 

The reference to Wolfson apparently refers to Courier-Journal reporter Andy Wolfson.  Ford seems to have a mania for all things Gallion.  She previously purchased his Jessamine County residence at a judicial sale, but the U.S. Attorney’s office intervened in that sale and the Jessamine Circuit Judge set aside the sale.   The U.S. Attorney’s office is reported by the Jessamine County Master Commissioner, to have argued that the funds with which Ford purchased the Gallion home included funds of client’s she did not represent.

 

U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves recently ordered an accounting from Ford as to her  handling of client’s funds.  Reeves ordered that her accounting be sealed.

 

The relevant law regarding the attorney-client privilege and an attorneys work product is found in the caselaw, Civil Rules and the Rules of Evidence.

 

THE ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGE PROTECTS ATTORNEY’S WORK PRODUCT

 

Sowders v. Lewis, 241 S.W.3d 319 – December 2-2007 – Supreme Court of Kentucky.

” [The attorney-client privilege applies to a confidential communication "made to facilitate the client in his/her legal dilemma and made between two of the four parties listed in [KRE 503]: the client, the client’s representatives, the lawyer, or the lawyer’s representatives.” Haney v. Yates, 40 S.W.3d 352, 354 (Ky.2000). “

“Where the privilege applies its breach undermines confidence in the judicial system and harms the administration of justice.”

 

       SEE ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGE RULE IN THE RULES OF EVIDENCE:

 

      KRE 503 Lawyer-client privilege  

(a) Definitions. As used in this RULE:

(1) “Client” means a person, including a public officer, corporation, association, or other organization or entity, either public or private, who is rendered professional legal services by a lawyer, or who consults a lawyer with a view to obtaining professional legal services from the lawyer.

(2) “Representative of the client” means:

(A) A person having authority to obtain professional legal services, or to act on advice thereby rendered on behalf of the client; or

(B) Any employee or representative of the client who makes or receives a confidential communication:

(i) In the course and scope of his or her employment;

(ii) Concerning the subject matter of his or her employment; and

(iii) To effectuate legal representation for the client.

(3) “Lawyer” means a person authorized, or reasonably believed by the client to be authorized to engage in the practice of law in any state or nation.

(4) “Representative of the lawyer” means a person employed by the lawyer to assist the lawyer in rendering professional legal services.

(5) A communication is “confidential” if not intended to be disclosed to third persons other than those to whom disclosure is made in furtherance of the rendition of professional legal services to the client or those reasonably necessary for the transmission of the communication.

(b) General rule of privilege. A client has a privilege to refuse to disclose and to prevent any other person from disclosing a confidential communication made for the purpose of facilitating the rendition of professional legal services to the client:

(1) Between the client or a representative of the client and the client’s lawyer or a representative of the lawyer;

(2) Between the lawyer and a representative of the lawyer;

(3) By the client or a representative of the client or the client’s lawyer or a representative of the lawyer representing another party in a pending action and concerning a matter of common interest therein;

(4) Between representatives of the client or between the client and a representative of the client; or

(5) Among lawyers and their representatives representing the same client.

(c) Who may claim the privilege. The privilege may be claimed by the client, the client’s guardian or conservator, the personal representative of a deceased client, or the successor, trustee, or similar representative of a corporation, association, or other organization, whether or not in existence. The person who was the lawyer or the lawyer’s representative at the time of the communication is presumed to have authority to claim the privilege but only on behalf of the client.

 

 

      Civil rule  26.02 (3) Trial Preparations; materials

      (a) Subject to the provisions of paragraph (4) of this rule, a party may obtain discovery of documents and tangible things otherwise discoverable under paragraph (1) of this rule and prepared in anticipation of litigation or for trial by or for another party or by or for that other party’s representative (including his attorney, consultant, surety, indemnitor, insurer, or agent) only upon a showing that the party seeking discovery has substantial need of the materials in the preparation of his case and that he is unable without undue hardship to obtain the substantial equivalent of the materials by other means. In ordering discovery of such materials when the required showing has been made, the court shall protect against disclosure of the mental impressions, conclusions, opinions, or legal theories of an attorney or other representative of a party concerning the litigation.

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