Attorney-Client Privilege Confidential Communications

News & Analysis as of

New York Appellate Division Strongly Supports In-House Law Firm Privilege Claim

In Stock v. Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis, 2016 WL 3556655 (N.Y. App. Div. 2016), the First Judicial Department of the New York Appellate Division upheld, in a case involving a former law firm client seeking to sue the...more

The New York Court of Appeals Rejects Attempted Expansion of the Common Interest Exception to the Attorney Client Privilege

Last month, the New York Court of Appeals issued a decision rejecting the attempted expansion of the common interest exception to the attorney-client privilege to include communications that did not involve pending or...more

Choice of Law Principles in Cross-Border Privilege Disputes: Whose Law Applies?

The Attorney-Client Privilege and Work Product Doctrine in the United States and Abroad - The attorney-client privilege and work product doctrine are important and well-known concepts to nearly every lawyer in the...more

New York and North Carolina Take a Narrow Approach to Common Interest Doctrine

Brief Summary - The "common interest doctrine" generally protects attorney-client communications, even if such communications are disclosed to a third party, as long as the third party shares a common legal interest with...more

‘Sorry, But You Have Nothing in Common’: The New York Court of Appeals’ Recent Rejection of the ‘Common Interest Doctrine’...

The New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, recently rejected an attempt to apply the “common interest doctrine,” an exception to the general rule that communicating privileged information to a third party...more

New York's Highest Court Reverses Appellate Division, Reaffirms Litigation Requirement for Common-Interest Privilege

In a recent decision reversing the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, First Judicial Department, the New York Court of Appeals definitively held that the common-interest privilege may be used in New York...more

New York’s Highest Court Refuses to Expand the Common Interest Doctrine to Merging Parties

On June 9, 2016, the New York Court of Appeals issued a stark reminder to transactional lawyers: no matter how much “common interest” two parties may have with respect to a transaction, the common interest doctrine may not...more

M&A Update: New York Court of Appeals Rejects Extension of Common Interest Privilege to Merger Talks

On June 9, 2016, a divided New York Court of Appeals in a much-anticipated ruling held that the attorney-client privilege can only be maintained for communications involving third parties in situations where litigation is...more

Court Issues a Surprising Common Interest Doctrine Decision

The common interest doctrine can sometimes allow separately represented clients to avoid the normal waiver implications of disclosing privileged communications to each other. However, courts take widely varying views of the...more

How Do Courts Apply the "Primary Purpose" Privilege Standard?: Part I

In nearly every court, the attorney-client privilege protects intra-corporate communications only if their "primary purpose" was the corporation's need for legal advice. How do courts apply this standard? One might think that...more

Are Consultant’s Employees Functionally Equivalent To Client’s Employees?

As a general matter, the attorney-client privilege is waived by disclosing a communication to a third party. When a corporation hires an investment banker, the corporation’s attorneys will frequently communicate with...more

WIN Wise: Back to basics - Legal professional privilege

The law of England and Wales recognises two main types of legal professional privilege: Legal advice privilege, and Litigation privilege. ...more

Court Rejects “Gotcha” Theory of Waiver Under Public Records Act

A California appellate court has ruled that inadvertent disclosure of documents containing attorney-client communications in response to a Public Records Act request does not result in a waiver of the privilege. Newark...more

Proceed with Caution: Attorney-Client Privilege and Communications with Third-Party Consultants

In our modern economy, businesses regularly use all manner of third-party consultants for many different reasons, including cost, efficiency, and expertise. Less regularly, communications between businesses and consultants...more

California Supreme Court Will Review Appellate Decision Holding That Attorney Bills Are Privileged

In June, I blogged about County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors v. Superior Court, 235 Cal. App. 4th 1154 (2015). In that case, the California Court of Appeal (Second Appellate District) concluded that legal defense bills...more

Courts Assess Whether Client and Lawyer Agents are Inside or Outside Privilege Protection: Part II

Last week's Privilege Point discussed a court's consideration of privilege protection for communications with client and lawyer agents. Two weeks later, another court analyzed Debevoise & Plimpton's argument that the...more

Under California Law, Attorney Billing Statements Are Confidential Communications

In County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors et al. v. The Superior Court of Los Angeles, 2015 DJDAR 4085, the California Court of Appeal for the Second District ruled that attorney invoices may be confidential...more

The Common Interest Privilege May Offer More Protection Than You Thought.

Consider for a moment a situation when an Owner and a General Contractor want to exchange confidential communications relating to a potential legal matter. When the Owner and Contractor are not both parties in a suit, what...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

Does the Attorney-Client Privilege Protect Communications With A Company’s Outside Consultants?

A recent decision by the Massachusetts Land Court provides helpful guidance to clients who frequently rely on independent contractors such as brokers, project managers and public relations consultants to interface with their...more

Common Sense Prevails as D.C. Circuit Applies Upjohn in Vacating District Court Order to Produce Investigation Reports

Government contractors and other companies subject to internal investigation requirements won some relief from the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on June 26 with a decision that firmly reiterated that...more

Oregon Supreme Court: Law Firm In-House Privilege Is Alive and Well - What Should Lawyers Do When They Have Concerns About the...

The Oregon Supreme Court holds that law firms can avail themselves of attorney-client privilege for in-house communications to the same extent as all other entities with in-house counsel. This is so even if the party...more

Privileged Communications With Outside Consultants

Penn State University recently decided to waive attorney-client privilege and cooperate in the criminal prosecutions of certain former employees. Obviously, the former employees have attempted to assert privilege to exclude...more

This Interest May Be Common, But It’s Still Privileged

Section 954 of the California Evidence Code establishes a privilege “to refuse to disclose, and to prevent another from disclosing, a confidential communication between client and lawyer”. A “confidential communication...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - March 2014

Our first article this month addresses the treatment of the attorney-client privilege in employee benefits matters. Pursuant to the so-called "fiduciary exception," communications between an attorney and a plan fiduciary are...more

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