• On-Demand Video

McAleer and the Fiduciary Exception

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Split McAleer Ruling Leaves Attorney-Client Privilege Fiduciary Exception In Limbo

In a recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court case, In re: Estate of William K. McAleer, the state high court addressed the issue of whether Pennsylvania law recognizes the fiduciary exception to attorney-client privilege. Unfortunately, while the case yielded a decision for the parties, the court did not reach a majority consensus on the central issue, leaving fiduciaries and beneficiaries — and the trusts and estates practitioners who represent them — still unclear about how trial courts will handle fiduciaries' objections to requests for information from beneficiaries on the basis of attorney-client privilege.

Communications between an attorney and a client about legal advice generally are privileged from disclosure to third parties, with certain exceptions.

This session will discuss the specifics of this case and how it affects future cases in estates, including:

  • Privilege
  • Fiduciary exception
  • History of Fiduciary Exception/Privilege in PA
  • The Superior Court Argument 

Recorded in March 2022.

Practice Areas


Samuel W. Braver Esq. Dentons
Amanda K. DiChello Esq. M&T Bank (DE)
Jennifer D. Gayle Esq. Mannion Prior LLP
Adam T. Gusdorff Esq. Heckscher Teillon Terrill & Sager PC
Alison T. Smith Esq. PNC Bank NA
Peter St. Tienne Wolff Esq. Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti LLP (Pgh)
Faculty may vary by location.
PBI reserves the right to substitute speakers at all programs.
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