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Bank of the Orient v. Superior Court

California Court of Appeal
67 Cal. App.3d 588, 136 Cal. Rptr. 741 (1977)


Facts

San Francisco Federal Savings Association (San Francisco Federal) (plaintiff) discovered that one of its branch managers had embezzled money by depositing unauthorized checks in his account at Bank of the Orient (defendant). Two days later, San Francisco Federal’s board of directors hired an accounting firm to prepare a report detailing how the embezzlement occurred, and a special audit committee prepared an internal report. Both reports detailed the embezzlement and analyzed weaknesses in San Francisco Federal’s internal auditing procedures. About four months later, San Francisco Federal sued Bank of the Orient, claiming it facilitated the embezzlement. When Bank of the Orient requested the two reports, San Francisco Federal refused to produce them, claiming they were subsequent remedial measures not discoverable under California’s Evidence Code. San Francisco Federal also claimed the reports were trial-preparation materials or attorney work product. The trial court refused to compel production, and Bank of the Orient appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Taylor, J.)

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