Craig Wright’s objection that attorney relationship between himself and his attorney and “spousal privilege, relevance, overbreadth, undue burden, disproportionality and cumulativeness” allowed him to deny producing the 11,000 documents in his historic case involving the Kleiman estate has now been overruled in a new court ruling April 13 that requires that Wright deliver all the relevant materials by April 17, 2020. The lawsuit concerns 1.1M bitcoin worth billions of dollars.
Wright Denied Attorney-Client Privilege
The decision on April 13 is one produced after a series of hearings about the validity of Wright’s objections to providing the relevant information in his lawsuit on February 25, March 5, and March 9, stating mostly attorney-client privileges. The original lawsuit, filed in February 2018 by the brother of Wright’s former business partner, the late Dave Kleiman argues that Wright owes the estate half of all his Bitcoin.
The court’s decision mentions that Wright’s objections to produce the documents are not relevant because the Discovery Order around the documents did not, in fact, violate attorney-client relationship between Wright and his wife’s fourteen Australian shell corporations that served as Wright’s “alter ego.”
Many of these companies had become defunct after transferring assets into Wright’s or his wife’s accounts, and many of them did not even engage attorneys.
The decision states that with defunct companies, the attorney-client privilege dies with the company and that Wright lacks authority to claim privileges for the defunct companies. The statement also says that documents that Wright’s Kenyan attorney Denis Bosire Mayanka provided were inadequately authenticated.
11,000 Documents By April 17
The court documents also make clear that even if there were an attorney-client relationship between Mr. Mayaka and Ms. Watts, Wright’s wife, the record does not establish that any communications between them in December 2019 were intended to remain confidential. For example, Ms. Watts waived any potential privilege for these communications by disclosing to Wright any otherwise confidential communications with counsel. If the privilege existed and was not waived, Wright lacks the legal authority to assert attorney-client privilege over communications between his wife and her counsel for the trust because his wife would be the client and not Wright himself.
Bitcoin SV’s proponent also stated his preference for the judge in the case to conduct an in-camera review of the documents before ordering that they are produced. However, the judge asserted that Wright does not have the proper authority to state that an in-camera review be done of the thousands of documents at hand nor that this would be practical or appropriate.
Wright’s questions around whether these documents would be relevant were denied, and the court order made it clear that Kleiman’s estate is entitled to the immediate production of all the documents containing positive hits from the search terms agreed upon by the parties without waiting for defense counsel to conduct a relevance review.