News & Analysis as of

Attorney-Client Privilege Confidential Communications

Can the Attorney-Client Privilege Protect Corporate Executives' Notes of Their Conversations with a Lawyer?

by McGuireWoods LLP on

The attorney-client privilege protects communications between lawyers and their clients, primarily motivated by the latter's need for legal advice. Some corporations' adversaries challenge privilege protection for withheld...more

Sharing Legal Communications With PR Firm Raises Privilege Issues for Hospital

by Pepper Hamilton LLP on

A recent case in Pennsylvania reminds companies to think carefully about sharing their attorney-client communications with third parties, such as public relations firms. On March 13, a unanimous three-judge panel of the...more

2016 Guidance from the North Carolina Court of Appeals on Attorney-Client Privilege Issues

by Ward and Smith, P.A. on

In civil litigation, parties frequently communicate with consultants, tax advisors, friends, family, and others concerning the subject matter of the litigation, and such communications raise issues regarding the possible...more

A Common Interest Agreement May Not Be Worth the Paper It’s Written On

by Wilson Elser on

It is a very common practice for counsel to co-defendants or co-plaintiffs to enter into agreements that shield their communications. The agreements are expressions of intent that the communications will be protected by the...more

Confidential Communications With In-House Counsel Are Not Always Privileged

by Burns & Levinson LLP on

Next to a person’s Fifth Amendment right to remain silent, the attorney-client privilege is probably the most well recognized legal doctrine out there. Nevertheless, there are many nuances surrounding the privilege about...more

Courts Address Privilege and Work Product Implications of Defendants' and Plaintiffs' Large "Town Hall" Meetings

by McGuireWoods LLP on

The attorney-client privilege protects communications made and preserved in confidence. Work product protection does not rest on confidentiality, but evaporates if adversaries are present or later obtain protected work...more

Protecting privilege during Australian internal investigations: is lawyer work product at risk?

by DLA Piper on

In the long running RBS Rights Issue litigation, the English High Court has recently ruled that notes of interviews of bank employees, prepared by the bank's in-house lawyers who conducted the interviews as part of an...more

Evidence Law Litigation Update - February 2017

New York Court of Appeals Holds That the Common Interest Doctrine Applies Only to Litigation Matters. This year, in Ambac Assurance Corp. v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., No. 80, 2016 N.Y. Lexis 1649 (N.Y. June 9, 2016), New...more

Courts Continue to Insist that Common Interest Participants Anticipate Litigation

by McGuireWoods LLP on

The common interest doctrine can allow separately represented clients to safely share privileged communications in certain circumstances. Although many lawyers hope that courts will begin extending this helpful protection to...more

An In-House Counsel Learns the Hard Way About a Key Difference Between Common Interest Agreements and Joint Representations: Part...

by McGuireWoods LLP on

Common interest agreements and joint representations share many characteristics. Both types of arrangements involve lawyers engaging in protected communications with multiple clients. But they are structurally distinct. In...more

California Supreme Court Concludes Attorney Invoices Privileged During Ongoing Litigation

Attorney invoices may be protected in their entirety by the attorney-client privilege during ongoing litigation. After litigation has concluded, however, those same invoices may be discoverable. So concludes the California...more

High Court Rules That Witness Interview Notes Are Not Covered by Legal Advice Privilege

by Shearman & Sterling LLP on

In December 2016, the English High Court ruled that transcripts, notes and other records of witness interviews prepared by in-house and external counsel in the course of an internal investigation were not covered by either...more

Legal Invoices to Public Agencies in California May Be Exempt from Disclosure

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

In a case that pitted government transparency against a public agency’s interest in confidential communications with its attorney, the California Supreme Court came down on the side of protecting attorney-client privileged...more

No legal advice privilege over lawyers' notes of interviews with employees

by Allen & Overy LLP on

Astex Therapeutics Limited v Astrazeneca AB [2016] EWHC 2759 (Ch), 8 November 2016 - In-house and external lawyers' attendance notes of conversations with employees of a client company who are not directly involved in...more

Court Nixes Privilege Protection for Former Employee Interviews – Is This a Big Deal?: Part I

by McGuireWoods LLP on

In a 4-3 vote, the Washington Supreme Court held that an institution's lawyers' communications with former employees did not deserve privilege protection. Newman v. Highland Sch. Dist., No. 90194-5, 2016 Wash. LEXIS 1135...more

Washington Supreme Court Creates Bright-Line Rule - Postemployment Communications Between Former Employees and Corporate Counsel...

by Holland & Knight LLP on

The Washington Supreme Court held in a 5-4 vote that attorney-client privilege does not apply to communications between corporate counsel and former corporate employees, even if the communications concern what the employees...more

The Real Value of Lawyers to Compliance

by Michael Volkov on

The legal profession is transforming itself, especially in the area of compliance. Lawyers are an invaluable part of a compliance program. They provide important perspective and understanding of risk, they help a company to...more

Exercising attorney-client privilege over in-house communications

by Dentons on

Law firm in-house counsel privilege is once again in the news, with New York joining other states, including Georgia, in upholding the attorney-client privilege for in-house counsel communications. ...more

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

by Holland & Knight LLP on

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

by Kelley Drye & Warren LLP on

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

by Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP on

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’...

by Reed Smith on

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

by BakerHostetler on

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

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