Allred v Saunders

Allred sought the credentialing file of Saunders and an incident report from a hospital during discovery in their medical malpractice suit. Saunders objected and eh district court overruled the objection ruling the rules of civil procedure cannot create privileges and thus only the incident report was protected under statute and the report was ordered delivered to the court for in camera review. The Court reversed and remanded. It held that the legislatively enacted amendments to Rule of Civil Procedure 26 were passed by the required two-thirds majority, plainly establish privileges for care review and peer review processes, the rules of evidence themselves identify other rules adopted by the Utah Supreme Court as sources of privileges and the district court erred in failing to apply the language of the rule. The Court set out the procedure for anyone claiming a care review or peer review privilege namely that the claimant must provide a privilege log sufficiently detailed to allow the trial court and opposing party to evaluate the claim. District court can review the documents in camera, but, are not required to do so.

State v Sessions

Sessions appealed his convictions for sexual assault and domestic abuse claiming his attorney was ineffective for failing to provide neutral explanations for two preemptory challenges which resulted in the challenged jurors serving on the jury that convicted him. The Court affirmed. It held that of the four grounds argued by Sessions, three were without merit as ignorance of the law is not deficient performance, there was no evidence the choice to tike the jurors was unreasonable and trial courts have discretion to choose a remedy in Batson settings including putting jurors back into the pool. The Court noted that failing to come up with a neutral explanation is likely deficient performance, but, there was no prejudice as loosing preemptory challenges is not structural error and there was no evidence offered to rebut the statements of the jurors that they could act impartially and fairly. The Court also held that due to the lack of error and prejudice, there was no plain error to correct.