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>Recorded Witness Statements Discoverable

>Coito v. Superior Court of Stanislaus County (March 2010, California Court of Appeal, Fifth District).

Holding that written and tape recorded third party witness statements, including not only those produced by the witness and turned over to counsel, but also those obtained by attorneys or attorney investigator agents during interviews of the witnesses are not work product and are discoverable by other parties in the case. The Court further held that the statements are discoverable although they could reveal attorney tactical or evaluative information, stating “[w]e are confident, however, that competent counsel will be able to tailor their interviews so as to avoid the problem should they choose to do so.” The decision does not discuss whether the investigator agent notes from the interview are discoverable. The Court in Coito criticizes the holding in Nacht & Lewis architects, Inc. v. Superior court (1996) 47 Cal. App. 4th 214, a Third District case which holds differently.

Dave Tate, Esq.
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