Discovery of Attorney Invoices not Appealable

In a dispute over legal fees paid by a trustee, the Orphans’ Court ordered the trustee to turn over to the beneficiaries unredacted invoices for legal fees paid and, on appeal, the Superior Court held that the order was not appealable as a collateral order under Pa.R.A.P. 313(a) because (a) the order was not separable from the merits of the fee dispute, (b) records of trustees are generally accessible to beneficiaries, and (c) the trustee failed to substantiate the claims of privilege before the trial court.  In re: Estate of William K. McAleer, 2018 PA Super 227 (8/9/2018), app. allowed, 345 WAL 2018 (Pa. 2/4/2019).

[Update: An evenly divided Supreme Court reversed the Superior Court and affirmed the order of the Orphans’ Court. In re: Estate of William K. McAleer, 248 A.3d 416, ___ Pa. ____, 6 WAP 2019 (4/7/2021).  See “Evenly Divided Supreme Court Affirms Fiduciary Exception to Attorney-Client Privilege.”]

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