Attorney-Client Privilege

News & Analysis as of

Recorded Conversations with In-House Counsel Permitted as Evidence in FCPA Trial

Earlier this month, a federal judge in New Jersey held that a secretly recorded conversation between a former chief executive officer and his general counsel may be used by prosecutors as evidence against the former executive...more

"The Multifaceted General Counsel"

From legal adviser to business strategist to compliance officer, an in-house counsel typically finds herself playing multiple roles in her organization. Each role requires knowing the organization's business, understanding...more

Implied Waiver of Privilege in Internal Investigations: Barko Court Compels Production of Internal Investigation Documents, Again

On November 20, 2014, the District Court for the District of Columbia once again ordered Kellogg, Brown and Root (“KBR”) to produce all documents prepared as part of an internal investigation.  The District Court’s decision...more

Public Entities Can Inadvertently Waive Privilege in Response to a Public Records Act Request

California’s Public Records Act (PRA) law requires public entities to make their public records open for inspection and copying. Environmental practitioners often use PRA requests as a tool to obtain information regarding a...more

Are Antitrust Compliance Programs Protected by Attorney-Client Privilege?

We’ve previously written about the components of effective antitrust compliance programs and the potential benefits corporations may achieve by adopting them. In drafting compliance programs, however, corporations should be...more

What’s Mine is Not Yours: Former Officers and Directors and a Corporation’s Attorney–Client Privilege

An officer or director’s company exit often feels like a divorce, with post-departure monetary payments and document-custody issues dominating the immediate aftermath. Companies are quick to enforce non-compete agreements and...more

Back from the Brink: A New York Appellate Court Makes it Safer for Insurers to Cooperate on Claims

Earlier this month, in Ambac Assurance Corp. v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., No. 08510 (1st Dep’t Dec. 4, 2014), an appellate court in Manhattan took a long step back from a group of cases that had raised serious doubts...more

Accidental Disclosure Waives Privilege Under Public Records Act

Court of Appeal Says Privilege Removed Under PRA By Inadvertent Disclosure of Privileged Documents - If a privileged document is accidentally released to the public during compliance with a Public Records Act request,...more

SEC Condemns Breach Of Client Confidences While Offering Possible Bounties For Breaches

Yesterday, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it had “charged a California-based attorney and his wife with insider trading on confidential information obtained from a corporate client.” According to the...more

2015 Hot Topics for Multinational Companies

As we enter the New Year, Littler's international practice has identified a number of key employment and labor law issues for multinational companies (MNCs). The past year has brought to the fore some challenging issues...more

A Hunt for Justice Erodes the Attorney-Client Privilege

In a highly regulated environment, it is challenging for U.S. corporations to maintain 100% compliance with each and every law touching them. When issues arise, U.S. corporations rely on the ability to have full and frank...more

Crime-Fraud Exception to Attorney-Client Privilege – Facebook’s Lawsuit

The crime-fraud exception to attorney-client privilege: As an attorney, you may not anticipate it applying to your emails, your letters or your advice to your client. But even if you never see it coming, your client’s...more

The Barko v. KBR Privilege Battle Continues

A high-profile qui tam suit against Kellogg, Brown & Root and Halliburton continues to generate important case law relating to the scope of attorney-client privilege and work product protection given to internal...more

California Court Upholds In-House Counsel Privilege

In Palmer v. Superior Court California's Second District Court of Appeal upheld the in-house counsel privilege for communications concerning a dispute with a current client and, in doing so, declined to adopt the "fiduciary...more

How to Protect Attorney-client Privilege in Internal Investigations

While attorney-client privilege can protect many internal documents, recent court decisions highlight the need to explicitly invoke this protection. As many US policies now require an increased level of internal...more

New York Court Expands Application Of Common Interest Privilege In Case Involving M&A Transaction

Expanding the law in New York governing the attorney client privilege, New York’s intermediate appellate court held last week that anticipated or pending litigation is not a necessary prerequisite to invoking the common...more

New York Extends Common Interest Privilege Protection to Non-Litigation Communications

Ordinarily, when a communication between an attorney and her client is disclosed to a third party, that communication loses its privileged status. The common interest privilege operates as an exception to that rule that...more

High Price Paid for Errors in Disclosure: Court of Appeal Permits use of Inadvertently Disclosed Privileged Documents

In Rawlinson and Hunter Trustees S.A. & ors v Director of the Serious Fraud Office [2014] EWCA Civ 1129, 31 July 2014, the Court of Appeal held that the inadvertent disclosure of a privileged document must be an obvious...more

PTAB Expands Discovery for Inter Partes Review

GEA Process Engineering, Inc. v. Steuben Foods, Inc. - In a decision that has the potential to expand the scope of permissible discovery in inter partes reviews (IPRs) as well as other post-grant procedures under the...more

Professional Liability and Attorney-Client Privilege Bulletin: Intra-Law Firm Communications

In a case of first impression in California, Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP v. Superior Court (No. B255182 - filed November 25, 2014), Division Three of the Second District Court of Appeal addressed the question of whether the...more

Nevada Lawyers Beware: Don’t Use Privileged Documents To Prep Your Client To Testify

Twice this year, the Nevada Supreme Court ruled that a party may be required to produce for inspection an otherwise privileged document used to refresh a witness’s recollection prior to or during the witness’s testimony at a...more

To disclose or not to disclose? Litigation privilege on reports commissioned by insolvency practitioners

Key points: - If a document attracts litigation privilege, it does not have to be produced to the other party in litigation as part of the disclosure process. - The material must be confidential, made for the...more

Considerations for Employee Benefit Programs That Benefit Employers and Employees

Employers must compete in the marketplace for talented employees at every level—both in recruitment and retention. It is thus in employers’ best interests to provide employee benefit plans that are attractive to employees and...more

Safeguard Your Litigation Privileges When Working With Insurance Brokers On Complex Insurance Claims

Businesses facing catastrophic losses, whether as a result of an accident or a natural disaster, or due to mass tort claims, frequently will engage both their insurance broker and legal counsel to identify and pursue...more

Uncertain Privilege: Implied Waiver of the Attorney-Client Privilege in False Claims Act Litigation

In a pending False Claims Act (“FCA”) case stemming from alleged violations of the physician self-referral law (the “Stark Law”), 42 U.S.C. § 1395nn, and the federal Anti-Kickback Statute (“AKS”), 42 U.S.C. §1320a-7b, the...more

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