In re Golden Grove Pecan Farms (10-40557)
The Chapter 7 trustee sought information and documents from the former law firm of several entities, including the debtor, owned and operated by nondebtor individuals, including information regarding related entities the law firm never represented. The law firm alleged attorney-client privilege, alleged work-product immunity, alleged that nondebtor entities were not proper targets of Rule 2004 examinations and for subpoenas demanding the production of documents. The Court denied the debtor's former law firm's motion to quash the Chapter 7 trustee's Supboena for Production of Documentary Evidence Under Bankruptcy Rules 2004(c) and 9016, and overruled the law firm's objection to the trustee's Motion for Bankruptcy Rule 2004 Examination and for Production of Documents Pursuant to Bankruptcy Rule 2004 and Bankruptcy Rule 9016. The owner-operators of the entities executed a broad waiver disclaiming any attorney-client privilege and granting the trustee the right to assert or deny and privilege. In holding that the work-product immunity had been waived, the Court adopted the reasoning in In re ANR Advance Transportation Company, Inc., 320 B.R. 607 (E.D. Wis. 2003). The Court further ordered that the examination and production of documents take place at the law firm's place of business and that the trustee pay for the costs of copying documents.