City of San Diego v. Superior Court, 2018 WL 6629322 (Cal. Ct. App. 2018)

As part of an internal affairs investigation regarding the unauthorized disclosure of a confidential police report, the San Diego Police Department questioned detective Dana Hoover regarding communications she had had with an attorney who was representing her in an employment-related lawsuit against the city. Although Hoover invoked the attorney-client privilege, the Department directed her to answer the questions or face discipline and/or termination of employment. The trial court concluded that the city violated the attorney-client privilege and that a deputy city attorney violated the California State Bar Rules of Professional Conduct by questioning Hoover about her lawsuit without the permission of her lawyer. The Court of Appeal held, however, that the trial court erred when it granted Hoover’s motion to disqualify the city attorney in view of the fact that none of the information that Hoover disclosed would have a “substantial continuing effect on future judicial proceedings.”