Merits Incentives v. Eighth Judicial Dist. Court
In this breach of contract and fraud action, the attorney for Respondents reviewed confidential documents on disk that he received, unsolicited, from an anonymous source. Petitioners filed a motion to disqualify opposing counsel based on counsel's receipt of the confidential documents. The district court denied the motion, concluding that Petitioners failed to show that any of the documents, except a draft affidavit, contained on the disk were privileged. Petitioners then sought extraordinary writ relief to instruct the district court to disqualify the attorney and his firm, or, alternatively, to compel the district court to reconsider the disqualification motion. The Supreme Court denied the relief requested, holding (1) although there is no Nevada Rule of Professional Conduct that specifically governs an attorney's actions under these facts, the attorney in this case fulfilled any ethical duties by giving prompt notification to opposing counsel, soon after his receipt of the disk, through a Nev. R. Civ. P. 16.1 disclosure; and (2) the district court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to disqualify counsel even though one of the documents sent to counsel was privileged.