Work Product Protections

The “work product doctrine” is a defense to pretrial discovery. State ex rel. Malashock v. Jamison, 502 S.W.3d 618, 619-20 (Mo. 2016). It prohibits the disclosure of tangible and intangible work created or commission by counsel in preparation for possible litigation. Id. It consists of materials reflecting an attorney’s efforts at preparing a case — including but not limited to assembling information, determining relevant facts, preparing legal theories and strategy, and recording of mental impressions. State ex rel. Bd. of Pharmacy v. Otto, 866 S.W.2d 480, 483 (Mo. Ct. App. 1993).

The work product doctrine has specific requirements. To successfully assert a work product protection, the objecting party must show that the (1) documents or tangible things were (2) prepared in anticipation of litigation and (3) were prepared by or for a party or a representative of that party. State ex rel. Ford Motor Co. v. Westbrooke, 151 S.W.3d 364, 367 (Mo. 2004). Blanket assertions of work product are insufficient. There must be competent evidence to substantiate a work product objection.

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