Pappas v. Holloway

In Pappas v Holloway (114 Wash 2d 198, 787 P2d 30 [1990]), the clients, the Holloways, were defendants in several related actions that were consolidated. (114 Wash 2d at 200-201, 787 P2d at 32-33.) Pappas, an attorney, represented them in one of the actions and in the consolidated action, until he withdrew as counsel a month before trial. Another attorney then took up the case, which resulted in an adverse judgment. Pappas sued to recover his fee and the Holloways countersued for malpractice. Pappas brought third-party claims against the other lawyers and sought discovery from them. The Holloways argued that their communications with the other attorneys were privileged and irrelevant to Pappas' malpractice defense. The court held that the Holloways waived the attorney-client privilege with respect to the other attorneys, stating that "the Holloways cannot counterclaim against Pappas for malpractice and at the same time conceal from him communications having a direct bearing on this issue." (Id., 114 Wash 2d at 208, 787 P2d at 36.) The court went on to say that "the nature of a malpractice claim necessitates inquiry into the actions taken during the course of the litigation in question." (Id., 114 Wash 2d at 211, 787 P2d at 38.)