Coito v. Superior Court, 2012 WL 2369186 (Cal. S. Ct. 2012)

Although this case does not involve the employment relationship, it has significant implications for all California attorneys who litigate civil matters. The Supreme Court held that (1) recordings of witness interviews conducted by investigators employed by a party’s counsel are entitled to at least qualified work product protection and possibly absolute protection if the party can show that disclosure would reveal its attorney’s “impressions, conclusions, opinions, or legal research or theories”; and (2) the identity of witnesses from whom a party’s counsel has obtained statements (as called for by Form Interrogatory No. 12.3) is not automatically entitled as a matter of law to absolute or qualified work product protection.