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(District of New Jersey D.C. 01-cv-04183) - page 8 / 30





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recognized that the exception has not been considered within our circuit, but he concluded that, given the opportunity, we would adopt the fiduciary exception and apply it to Health Net. Having found that certain attorney-client communications related to fiduciary acts by Health Net and were not prepared in connection with adversarial proceedings against the beneficiaries, the Special Master ordered Health Net to produce those communications.

Health Net appealed this ruling to the District Court. In addition, HNI moved for summary judgment, arguing that it was not an ERISA fiduciary and therefore owed no fiduciary obligations to the plaintiffs. The District Court, in an order entered May 12, 2006, denied HNI’s motion for summary judgment, finding that HNI exerted sufficient control over day- to-day operations at HN-NJ for the court to hold HNI liable as a fiduciary. In the same order, the District Court adopted the Report and Recommendation of the Special Master and ordered the production of all documents on Privilege Logs 1-11 which the Special Master had determined should be produced. Because of the District Court’s finding regarding HNI’s status as a fiduciary, this production order applied to attorney-client communications with HNI in addition to communications with the other Health Net defendants. Health Net appeals the May 12 order on the basis that the District Court wrongly applied the fiduciary exception and wrongly determined HNI’s status as a fiduciary.

II. Jurisdiction and Standard of Review

The District Court had jurisdiction over this case under


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