IN RE VON BULOW
828 F.2d 94 (1987)
In re Claus VON BULOW, Petitioner.
Martha VON BULOW, by her next friends Alexander AUERSPERG, and Annie Laurie Auersperg-Kneissl, Plaintiffs,
Claus VON BULOW, Defendant.
United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit.
Motion for writ of Mandamus Submitted April 7, 1987.
Decided September 10, 1987.
Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler, New York City, submitted for petitioner Claus von Bulow.
Frederic Parnon, New York City (Barrett Smith Schapiro Simon & Armstrong, New York City, of counsel), for plaintiffs.
Before LUMBARD, OAKES and CARDAMONE, Circuit Judges.
CARDAMONE, Circuit Judge:
Petitioner Claus von Bulow seeks a writ of mandamus directing the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Walker, J.) to vacate its discovery order of February 12, 1987, 114 F.R.D. 71, granting plaintiff the right to discover certain conversations between petitioner and his attorneys. Because the discovery order raises significant issues of first impression, mandamus is an appropriate remedy. Hence, the petition is granted.FACTS
On July 6, 1981 petitioner was indicted by a Newport County, Rhode Island, grand jury on two counts of assault with intent to murder for allegedly injecting his wife Martha von Bulow with insulin causing her to lapse into an irreversible coma. After a widely publicized jury trial, von Bulow was convicted on both counts on March 16, 1982. In April 1982 petitioner retained Harvard law professor Alan M. Dershowitz to represent him on appeal. In May 1982 von Bulow was sentenced to 30-years imprisonment, but granted bail pending appeal. On April 27, 1984 the Rhode Island Supreme Court reversed both convictions, State v. von Bulow,475 A.2d 995 (R.I.), cert. denied, 469 U.S. 875, 105 S.Ct. 233, 83 L.Ed.2d 162 (1984), and upon retrial, he was acquitted on June 10, 1985.
Shortly after the acquittal, petitioner's wife, by her next friends, Alexander Auersperg and Annie Laurie Auersperg-Kneissal, Martha von Bulow's children from a prior marriage (plaintiff), commenced this civil action in federal court against petitioner alleging common law assault, negligence, fraud, and RICO violations. These claims arose out of the same facts and circumstances as the Rhode Island criminal prosecution.
In May 1986 Random House published a book entitled Reversal of Fortune — Inside the von Bulow Case, authored by attorney Dershowitz, which chronicles the events surrounding the first criminal trial, the successful appeal, and von Bulow's ultimate acquittal. After obtaining an advance copy of the book, plaintiff's counsel notified petitioner on April 23, 1986 that it would view publication as a waiver of the attorney-client privilege. Von Bulow's counsel responded that no waiver had occurred and that, accordingly, he would not act to stop the book's publication. After the book was released, von Bulow and attorney Dershowitz appeared on several television and radio shows to promote it.
Plaintiff then moved to compel discovery of certain discussions between petitioner and his attorneys based on the alleged waiver of the attorney-client privilege with respect to those communications related in the book. In order to avoid piecemeal rulings on each communication, counsel stipulated in July 1986 as to those controversial subjects appearing in Reversal of Fortune. On February 12, 1987 the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Walker, J.) found a waiver of the attorney-client privilege and ordered von Bulow and his attorneys to comply with discovery requested by plaintiff. Von Bulow By Auersperg v. von Bulow, 114 F.R.D. 71 (S.D.N.Y.1987).