Attorney-Client Privilege

News & Analysis as of

In Front, Inc. v. Khalil, NY Court of Appeals refuses to extend absolute immunity from defamation claims accorded litigation...

Answering the open question of whether pre-litigation communications by attorneys are entitled to the same absolute privilege from defamation claims as litigation communications, the Court of Appeals has just held that they...more

Circuit Courts Explain Privilege Issue Appellate Review Standards

Attorney-client privilege issues frequently involve a complicated mixture of fact and law. Three circuit court decisions issued in a three-week period explain the basic approach that most courts take. ...more

Ethical Issues Implicated by Lawyers’ Use of Third-Party Cloud Services

Law firms increasingly turn to “cloud services” for processing and storing confidential client information because of their greater flexibility and efficiency. Use of “the cloud,” however, outsources the administration,...more

Attorney Withdrawal: Protect the Client, Obey the Court or Go to Jail? - California Formal Op. No. 2015-192 Addresses the Ethical...

In Formal Opinion No. 2015-192, the California State Bar Standing Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct addressed the difficult choices faced by lawyers who are ethically required to seek leave to withdraw from...more

A Southern District of New York Decision Adopts Narrow Views of Privilege Protection for Independent Contractors and...

Last week's Privilege Point described the Southern District of New York's prediction that the Second Circuit might reject the widely-accepted "functional equivalent" doctrine. Church & Dwight Co. Inc. v. SPD Swiss Precision...more

Attorney-Client Privilege

In Everest Indemnity Insurance Company v. Rea, the Arizona Court of Appeals held that an insurer does not waive the attorney-client privilege by asserting the defense of subjective good faith in a bad faith case unless it...more

SCC Recognizes a Lawyer’s Duty of Commitment to the Client’s Cause

In a decision released on Friday, the Supreme Court of Canada has recognized a new principle of fundamental justice: a lawyer’s duty of commitment to the client’s cause. In Canada (Attorney General) v Federation of...more

A Southern District of New York Decision Adopts Narrow Views of Privilege Protection for Independent Contractors and...

Not all recent Southern District of New York decisions have favored privilege protection in the corporate setting. In Church & Dwight Co. v. SPD Swiss Precision Diagnostics, GmbH, No. 14-cv-585, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175552...more

Production of prosecuting attorney’s memorandum about prior art waives privilege

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Merus B.V. Case Number: 1:14-cv-01650-KBF Judge Forrest, having determined that Regeneron’s production of a memorandum discussing prior art was a waiver of attorney-client...more

Game Changer? The S.D.N.Y. Endorses a Company-Friendly Privilege Standard

In In re General Motors LLC Ignition Switch Litigation, No. 14-MD-2543 (JMF), 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5199, at *220 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 15, 2015), Judge Furman upheld General Motors' claim of privilege and work product protection...more

Professional Liability Alert: Joint Client Can't Claim Privilege For Communications With Attorney Sued By Another Joint Client

In Anten v. Superior Court (No. B258437 – Filed 1/30/2015), the Second Appellate District held that when joint clients do not sue each other, but one of them sues their former attorney, the nonsuing client cannot prevent the...more

Oil Price Decline: Positioning for Turnaround or Sale

As a reaction to the dramatic oil price volatility, many energy companies plan to streamline operations by reducing work force and shedding assets. Those who do so face tightening credit and decline in asset value that may...more

2014 E-Discovery Year in Review

2014 was another eventful year for e-discovery and information management in Canada. Set out below are some of the major trends and developments that emerged over the last year....more

New York Court Dispenses with the Litigation Requirement for the Application of the Common-Interest Privilege: Why Transactional...

In a recent decision, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, First Judicial Department, broke with other New York courts and joined Delaware and federal courts in applying the common-interest privilege to...more

USPTO Seeks Input on Patent Privilege Issues

The USPTO is seeking public comment on patent privilege issues, regarding the legal protections afforded to communications between patent practitioners and clients in the U.S. and foreign countries. The USPTO is hosting a...more

Florida Appellate Court Blocks Discovery of Communications Between Insured and Insurer-Retained Defense Counsel in Third-Party Bad...

On September 5, 2014, the Fifth District Court of Appeal issued its en banc decision in Boozer v. Stalley, 146 So. 3d 139 (Fla. 5th DCA 2014), holding that in a third-party bad faith action, the attorney-client privilege...more

2014 E-Discovery Year in Review - "Courts continued in 2014 to endorse the use of technology to improve the efficiency and...

2014 demonstrated that management and discovery of electronic information continues to be a challenging issue in litigation. A review of 2014 court decisions also underscores the importance of litigation hold notices,...more

Arizona Court of Appeals Finds No Implied Waiver of Insurer’s Attorney Client Privilege by Defending a Bad Faith Case Based on...

A recent Arizona Court of Appeals decision, Everest Indemnity Insurance Company v. the Hon. John Rea, Judge of Sup. Ct of State of Az.,2015 WL 195450, addresses the attorney-client privilege in a bad faith case. Everest...more

Appellate Division Review - Business Judgment Rule, Privilege, Child Support, Animal Rights

The more things change, the more they remain the same. As we enter a new year, New York’s Appellate Division faces the same and greater challenges: increasing caseloads, staff shortages, judicial vacancies, and legal disputes...more

Court Orders Production of Work Product Documents under Crime-Fraud Exception to Attorney-Client Privilege Where Defendants Had...

In an earlier filed decision, the district court had previously found that Escort and its defense counsel had knowingly misled the plaintiff, Fleming, which warranted a sanction of attorney fees. As explained by the district...more

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

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