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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:In the underlying suit, Clara Harris sued George J. Parnham and George J. Parnham, Attorney at Law PC (Parnham) over fees and alleged breaches of fiduciary duty stemming from Parnham’s representation of Harris in a prior matter. During the course of litigation, Parnham’s counsel, James A. Drexler, requested inspection of certain documents that were responsive to Parnham’s discovery requests. Harris’ counsel, Dean M. Blumrosen, agreed to permit inspection at his office on Oct. 19, 2005. Because Blumrosen was to be out of town on that day, he drafted a letter to Drexler, stating as follows: “Please find documents responsive to your discovery requests in the conference room Bates stamped H0001-H01326. After you have reviewed the documents, please inform my assistant, Andrew Lee, of the documents you are requesting copies of and we will send them out to a copy service for you.” Lee admitted that he had inadvertently placed the entire litigation file on the conference room table. The next day, Blumrosen returned to town and reviewed the copies that had come back from his copy service. He immediately noticed that his entire attorney-client correspondence file had been copied. Blumrosen then called, e-mailed and wrote a letter to Charles L. “Chip” Babcock, lead counsel at Jackson Walker for Parnham, stating that despite Blumrosen’s strict instructions in his letter restricting the scope of discovery to the documents Bates-stamped H0001-H01326, two Parnham-affiliated attorneys had apparently gone through his entire litigation file and had sent privileged and confidential documents to be copied. In addition, pursuant to Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 193.3(d), Blumrosen asked that any notes taken by the attorneys be destroyed or returned. Blumrosen and Babcock exchanged a series of letters, attempting to arrive at a Rule 11 agreement concerning the use of any privileged or confidential information that Drexler and Washington may have reviewed. After numerous attempts failed, Harris moved for disqualification of the two Jackson Walker attorneys who inspected the file. On March 9, 2006, the trial court granted the motion. Parnham sought a writ of mandamus for relief from the grant of the disqualification motion. HOLDING:The writ of mandamus was conditionally granted. In his first issue, Parnham contended that the trial court improperly disqualified his counsel based upon an application of the Meador standard. In Re: Meador, 968 S.W.2d 346 (Tex. 1998) Specifically, Parnham contends that Meador is inapplicable when opposing counsel inadvertently produces privileged materials during the normal course of discovery. The court agreed, concluding that the unauthorized documents were inadvertently produced during the normal course of discovery and the Meador standard did not apply. The court concluded that Rule 193.3 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure governs instances of inadvertent disclosure that occur during discovery and does not provide for, nor does it contemplate, disqualification of the recipient party’s counsel. Rather, the court stated that Rule 193.3(d) contemplates a hearing on the privilege, and if the privilege is sustained, then counsel may assert it despite any inadvertent disclosure. The assertion of the privilege allowed in Rule 193.3(d) thus contemplates that such documents will not be used in the litigation. The rule does not contemplate disqualification of counsel. Disqualification, the court stated, is a severe remedy that “can result in immediate and palpable harm, disrupt trial court proceedings, and deprive a party of the right to have counsel of choice.” The court held that the applicable rule in this case is Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 193.3 and that Rule 193.3 does not provide authority for disqualification of counsel who review inadvertently disclosed materials during the course of discovery. OPINION:Taft. J.; Taft, Higley and Bland, J.J.

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