In State v. Lead Industries Association, Inc., No. 2010-288-Appeal, the Rhode Island Supreme Court was asked to review the trial justice’s determination that three PowerPoint slides were not protected by the attorney client privilege or the work product doctrine.
On appeal, the Supreme Court recognized that the trial justice did not make a clear determination as to whether the document should be protected by the work product doctrine. Id. at 11. Nevertheless, because the record before the Court was sufficient and because the Court’s review is de novo, the Court concluded that it was able to thoroughly consider the issue. Id.
The Court explained that “[a]lthough our usual practice would be to remand the matter to the Superior Court for further factfinding, we deem it appropriate to decide this issue because of the prolonged travel of this case and because the issue is relatively straightforward.” Id. n.11. In doing so, the Court paused to note that it “conduct[s] such review only on rare occasions.” Id.