Attorney-Client Privilege

News & Analysis as of

Accountants Can be Either Inside or Outside Privilege Protection

Lawyers and accountants have always had an uneasy relationship, and that tension extends to the attorney-client privilege context. Accountants can either be inside or outside privilege protection. ...more

Insurance Recovery Law - May 2015 #2

Recent Lawsuit Underscores Critical Lessons for Purchasers of Cyber Insurance - Why it matters: Columbia Casualty Company v. Cottage Health Systems was filed on May 7, 2015, in the Central District of California. Cottage...more

Wage-Hour Audits: Lessons Learned From Chipotle’s Heartburn

Beloved burrito-maker Chipotle Mexican Grill has found itself in a situation messier than the finger foods that brought the company more than $4 billion in revenue last year. A magistrate judge in Scott v. Chipotle Mexican...more

Words Have Consequences: Insurer Narrowly Avoids Disclosing the Privileged Contents of Hundreds of Claim Files

It’s not news that plaintiffs’ lawyers contrive far-fetched rationales for rummaging through insurer’s records, but a recent case from South Dakota illustrates just how much discovery even flimsy arguments can...more

Southern District of New York Reiterates its Narrow View of Privilege Protection for Consultants Assisting Lawyers

Client agents/consultants normally fall outside privilege protection, unless they help facilitate communications between the client and lawyer. Recognizing this, some lawyers seek privilege protection by hiring the...more

Challenging Privilege Assertions: The Use and Abuse of Privilege in Class Action and Complex Litigation

Complex class action litigation involving major corporations can involve class periods going back years, with the potential for hundreds of thousands, or even millions of documents. Commonly included in such a document...more

Everything That You Ever Wanted to Know About The Attorney-Client Privilege and The FOIA But Were Afraid to Ask: The Latest

As a self-described FOIA nerd, I have written in these pages about issues pertaining to the effect of the Freedom of Information Act [“FOIA”] on the attorney-client privilege (and vice versa). In a plethora of recent...more

Do Lawyers' Memos to the File Deserve Privilege Protection?

Not surprisingly, many lawyers think the attorney-client privilege (if not the whole world) revolves around them. Actually, the privilege primarily protects clients' communications to lawyers, not vice versa....more

Privilege for IP Advisors in Canada

It’s budget time… therefore, time for changes to Canada’s IP laws! No, there is no logical connection between the two, but that seems to be how the government functions these days (the last budget brought in major changes to...more

E-Discovery Update: When Personal and Work Data Collide

In the modern world, employees routinely receive work-related data on personal mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, and access personal data on work-owned devices. ...more

Attorney-Client Privilege Might Die With Your Company

If you have ever been involved in litigation relating to a defunct company, then you know that problems such as who will serve as the Rule 30(b)(6) representative and who will verify the answers to interrogatories or provide...more

Court Offers Good Privilege News for Draft Form 10-K Filings

Courts disagree about the attorney-client privilege protection's applicability to draft documents whose final version will be publicly disclosed. Public companies naturally worry about this issue's impact on their draft...more

King Arthur Week – The Round Table and Compliance Professionals and Lawyers as Whistleblowers – Part III

Today we use King Arthur’s Round Table as the entry into our topic. The Round Table is the famous table around which he and his Knights congregated. Its shape implies that everyone who sits there has equal status. Wace, who...more

Privilege Rules: Solicitor-Client Privilege Held Sacrosanct by Alberta Court of Appeal

In the Alberta Court of Appeal’s ruling this month in University of Calgary v. JR, the court held that the Alberta Information and Privacy Commissioner (OIPC) does not have the statutory authority under the Freedom of...more

The Implied Waiver of the Attorney-Client Privilege Under State Farm v. Lee: A Refresher Course

Whether a party has impliedly waived the attorney-client privilege poses a mixed question of law and fact. Twin City Fire Insurance Co. v. Burke, 204 Ariz. 251, 254, 63 P.3d 282, 285 (2003). In State Farm v. Lee, the Arizona...more

Court Says Cyber Forensics Covered by Legal Privilege

The Middle District of Tennessee recently issued a key decision in the ongoing Genesco, Inc. v. Visa U.S.A., Inc. data breach litigation. The court denied discovery requests by Visa for analyses, reports, and communications...more

Sony Pictures’ hacked emails reveal privileged communications

The 2014 Sony hack is again in the news, this time highlighting the threat that data breaches pose to the attorney-client privilege. On April 16, 2015, WikiLeaks announced that it had posted and indexed hacked Sony emails....more

Internal Investigations: Do No Harm

Internal investigations are an ever-present challenge for companies. They can involve virtually any topic and arise in myriad ways.  Embezzlement, accounting improprieties, bribery, and financial statement adjustments can all...more

Alberta Court of Appeal Affirms Sanctity of Solicitor-Client Privilege under FOIPPA

In University of Calgary v JR, 2015 ABCA 118, the Alberta Court of Appeal strongly affirmed the central importance of solicitor-client privilege to the proper functioning of the legal system. At issue was whether the Freedom...more

Court Makes Important Decision in Privileged Document Case

In many circumstances, courts say that corporations might relinquish privilege protection through internal privileged communications even beyond employees who have a “need to know.” This policy is often criticized because it...more

Federal Court Rules That HR Consultant’s Report is Not Privileged

On March 27, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York granted the plaintiffs’ motion to compel disclosure of a report prepared by a Human Resources (“HR”) consultant in class action litigation under...more

Attorney Billing Invoices Privileged From Disclosure Under PRA

California Court of Appeal Rules Attorney-Client Privilege Exemption Covers Billing Invoices - Billing invoices sent by an attorney to a client are exempt from disclosure under the California Public Records Act, a...more

Court Condemns Law Firm's Privilege Claim as "Subterfuge": Part II

Last week's Privilege Point described an outside regulatory compliance consultant's work for a company which worried about its non-compliant billing practices and about possible litigation, that consultant's later agreement...more

I Think We’re Alone Now: Applying the Common-Interest Privilege When No Litigation is Pending

Recently, the New York Appellate Division broadened that state’s common-interest privilege doctrine. In Ambac Assurance Corp. v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., 124 A.D.3d 129 (N.Y. App. Div. 1st Dep’t 2014), the court removed...more

Insurance Companies and the Attorney-Client Privilege in Arizona  [Video]

Phoenix business law firm Jaburg Wilk Insurance attorney Nathan D. Meyer discusses whether an insurance company can waive the attorney-client privilege in Arizona without asserting the advice of counsel defense. For more...more

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