Saturday, September 5, 2009

Discovery Mandamus Granted in Civil Case Stemming from Office Building Arson

On March 28, 2007, Misty Ann Weaver set fire to the fifth floor office leased by her employer in the atrium-style building located at 9343 North Loop in Houston.1 9343 North Loop, L.P. owns the building and Boxer Property Management Corporation (“Boxer”) manages it. Marvin Wells, Jeanette Hargrove, and Shana Ellis died as a result of the fire, and their family members brought premises-liability claims against 9343 North Loop, L.P. and Boxer.

* * *

Boxer Property Management Corporation and 9343 North Loop, L.P. filed a petition for writ of mandamus asking this court to compel the presiding judge of the 133rd District Court of Harris County to vacate a June 16, 2009 order compelling the deposition of relators' corporate representative. Relators contend the deposition will invade the
attorney work product privilege regarding their response to requests for production propounded by real parties in interest, Lynell Wells, individually, as the legal representative of the estate of her deceased husband, Marvin Wells, and as next friend of her minor child, Adrian D. Wells; Marvin Wells d/b/a M & E Transportation; Marvin G. Wells; and Shameka Wells (the "Wells plaintiffs"). We conditionally grant the writ.

* * *

Relators have established that the trial court abused its discretion by compelling the deposition of relators’ corporate representative, its general counsel, to respond the twelve questions and one request for production set forth in the June 16, 2009 order. Relators have no adequate remedy by appeal. Accordingly, we conditionally grant the petition for a writ of mandamus and direct the trial court to vacate its June 16, 2009 order. The writ will issue only if the trial court fails to act in accordance with this opinion. We lift the stay issued on July 2, 2009.

Click case style below to read the opinion setting forth the analysis and reasoning of the court:
In Re Boxer Property Management Corp. (Tex.App.- Houston [14th Dist.] Sep. 3, 2009)(Boyce)
discovery mandamus granted)
Justice Boyce
Before Justices Anderson, Guzman and Boyce
14-09-00579-CV In Re Boxer Property Management Corporation and 9343 North Loop, L.P.
Appeal from 133rd District Court of Harris County
Trial Court Judge:
Jaclanel McFarland

No comments: