In a 3-2 decision in Snow Christensen & Martineau v. Lindberg, (UT Sup. Ct., March 12, 2013), the Utah Supreme Court ruled this week on yet another of the complex legal issues flowing from Utah courts' attempt to reform the United Effort Plan Trust that holds property of members of the polygamous FLDS Church. At issue was whether the law firm that once represented the original trust could now represent clients in challenges against the reformed trust, and whether the law firm had to turn privileged records over to the special fiduciary. The Supreme Court held that the reformation of the trust so changed it that it is no longer the same client as the original trust:
In reforming the UEP Trust, the district court stripped the Trust of its essential religious purpose and required that the Trust be administered according to secular principles.Therefore, the Supreme Court majority held that the trial court erred in disqualifying the firm from representing FLDS members in their challenge to actions of the special fiduciary and in ordering the firm to disgorge privileged records to the special fiduciary. Deseret News reports on the decision.