Longo v. Premo

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Supreme Court
  • Area(s) of Law: Post-Conviction Relief
  • Date Filed: 05-30-2014
  • Case #: S061072
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Baldwin, J. for the Court; En Banc
  • Full Text Opinion

By codifying the common-law lawyer-client privilege, the legislature has given clients a privilege to refuse to disclose and to prevent any other person from disclosing confidential communications between clients and their lawyers. The remedy for release of such information is mandamus.

Longo appealed the post-conviction court's denial of his motion for a protective order regarding privileged lawyer-client communication. Longo was convicted of aggravated murder and sentenced to death. Following the conviction, Longo sought post-conviction relief for inadequate and ineffective assistence of counsel. The State filed a motion to compel Longo to produce all documents related to the capital murder case. Longo filed a motion for a protective order to prevent the State from disclosing privileged communication related to the capital murder case to third parties, specifically future prosecution of the case. The post-conviction court denied the motion. Longo appealed and argued that the protective order should be issued. The Court first concluded that a writ of mandamus is appropriate if the post-conviction court had a duty to prevent the disclosure of the privileged communication. The Court then concluded under the lawyer-client privilege, Longo could refuse disclosure of any confidential communication. The Court found that the post-conviction court erred by failing to protect the privileged communication by denying the protective order, and that mandamus is an appropriate remedy. The Court directed the issuance of a peremptory writ of mandamus requiring the post-conviction court to issue a protective order. Peremptory write of mandamus to issue.

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