Coughlin asks court to order release of attorney-client privilege documents from Town of Cohasset

Hearing on Coughlin Records Request to take place Monday, June 23 at Norfolk Superior Court

On Monday, June 23 at 2 p.m. a hearing will be held at Norfolk Superior Court as to whether the Town of Cohasset should be ordered to produce correspondence between Cohasset former town manager Mike Coughlin and Cohasset town counsel.

Coughlin filed a whistleblower suit on November 5, 2012 against the town in, saying that Cohasset Water Commissioner Peter DeCaprio and the Cohasset Board of Selectmen were not serving the best interests of the town. He cited the failure by town officials to comply with the Open Meeting Law; abuse of authority of the Water Commission which sought to exclude the Town Manager’s office from negotiations relating to the operation of the town Water district; an improper use of town funds by the Water Commission which retained its own outside counsel; and a possible conflict of interest between DeCaprio and the private utility that was allegedly being groomed to take over the Water District (Aquarian Water).

The Town maintains that Coughlin’s correspondence with town counsel is protected by the attorney-client privilege.

Coughlin argues that the correspondence with town counsel is related to his whistleblower claim, saying that the courts routinely order the disclosure of “privileged” documents in whistleblower suits. Coughlin further maintains that many of the documents do not fall under privilege as they were disclosed to third parties or did not involve any communication with an attorney.

The Town says Coughlin was terminated for his inability to get along with others, particularly the Board of Selectmen. Further, the Town says it has already produced over 2,250 pages of documents to Coughlin. “The ‘advice of counsel’ is not at issue here, neither as part of Plaintiff ’s whistleblower claim, nor as part of any defense.”

Coughlin maintains he was terminated for engaging in conflict protected by the statute.

© Copyright 2014 Tanna K, All rights Reserved. Written For: Tinytown Unleashed