Costco Decision Could Significantly Change Scope of Attorney-Client Privilege


The case of Costco Wholesale Corporation v. Superior Court, currently pending before the California Supreme Court, may dramatically affect the manner in which clients interact with and utilize their lawyers. At stake is the potential for the routine in camera review of attorney opinion letters and disclosure of “factual” portions to litigation adversaries. A decision to affirm the approach taken by the lower courts in Costco could have a profound impact on the way in which lawyers and clients work together and the information they exchange with one another in the course of their legal relationship.

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