The Law School Authority

Holmgren v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. Case Brief

Summary of Holmgren v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co.
976 F.2d 573 (1992)

Facts:  P was involved in an accident with a driver who was insured by D.  D settled the claim with P for $12,500.  P brought a claim against D for unfair claim settlement practices and sought to discover a handwritten memoranda prepared by D’s employee that estimated a range of liability for the unfair settlement claim.  D claims that this memoranda is not discoverable because it was opinion work product.

Issue: Was the memoranda discoverable?

Holding: Yes

Rationale:  The ruling of Hickman v. Taylor did not place and absolute bar on discovery of work product.  But there is a case-by-case analysis that a court needs to do and here, the P has shown a compelling need for the discovery of the memoranda.  Furthermore, the D’s mental opinions expressed in the memo are a principal issue in the case.  Therefore, the memoranda is discoverable.

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