attorney work product

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Attorney work product is documents and other tangible things prepared in anticipation of litigation by or for a party or representative

See: Fed. R. Civ. P. § 26(b)(3); and Hickman v. Taylor, 329 U.S. 495 (1947). 

There are two categories of attorney work product:

  1. Opinion work product is the mental impressions, conclusions, opinions, and/or legal theories of an attorney. An example of attorney opinion work product is an email from the attorney to their client regarding legal research and trial strategy. Opinion work product is usually given much more protection than ordinary work product and is almost never subject to discovery.
  2. Ordinary work product is documents or facts outside of the attorney’s mental impressions. An example of ordinary work product is a bank statement. 

Attorney work product is generally protected under attorney work product privilege, but this privilege may be overcome or waived in certain circumstances. 

[Last updated in December of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]