Attorney-Client Privilege

News & Analysis as of

Can You "Undo" an Implied Waiver?

An intentional express disclosure of privileged communications normally triggers an irreversible waiver, although the disclosure might or might not cause a subject matter waiver. The waiver implications of implied waivers...more

"The E-Discovery Digest - October 2016"

The fifth edition of The E-Discovery Digest focuses on recent decisions addressing the scope and application of the attorney client privilege and work-product doctrine, spoliation, and discovery responses. Please see...more

Maximizing Work Product Protection After an Ordinary Course Internal Investigation Uncovers Serious Problems that Could Trigger...

The work product doctrine only protects internal corporate investigations initiated by the corporation's anticipation of litigation. Thus, the protection normally does not extend to investigations required by some external or...more

California Supreme Court Leans in Favor of Treating Defense Bills as Privileged Communications

On October 6, the California Supreme Court heard oral argument in Los Angeles Board of Supervisors v. Superior Court, a case that we have blogged about twice in the past because of its possible impact on policyholders...more

Production of Insurance Company Claim Files In Bad Faith Litigation: Three Years After Cedell, Where Are We?

Bad faith litigation is complex and costly. In these types of cases, the discovery process often sets the initial tone of the lawsuit and the request for production of the insurer’s claim file is automatic. Typically, the...more

When is Communication Between a Client’s Accountant and Lawyer Privileged?

Communications between lawyers and their clients’ accountants or other non-legal professionals are not in themselves privileged but can be where the communication is in “furtherance of a function essential to the...more

District Court Holds that Document Retention and Destruction Policies Are Privileged under Court's Default Discovery Standard

In this patent infringement action, the plaintiff sought production of the defendant's document retention and document destruction policies. The defendant asserted that the request sought information protected by work product...more

Court Denies Defendant’s Motion for Production of Documents for In Camera Review: eDiscovery Case Law

In Portland Pipe Line Corp. et. al. v. City of South Portland et. al., No. 15-00054 (D. Maine, Sept. 8, 2016), Maine Magistrate Judge John H. Rich, III denied the defendants’ motion to compel the production of documents...more

Wealth Management Update - October 2016

October Interest Rates for GRATs, Sales to Defective Grantor Trusts, Intra-Family Loans and Split Interest Charitable Trusts - The October Section 7520 rate for use with estate planning techniques such as CRTs, CLTs,...more

Appellate Court Notes

Supreme Court Advance Release Opinions: SC19586 - Harrington v. Freedom of Information Commission - The Court started off by saying..... We have not previously had occasion to squarely address..... [this]...more

Whistleblower’s Attorney’s Communications with Regulators Found to be Protected by Work Product Doctrine

A California Magistrate Judge in BofI Federal Bank v. Erhart ruled that a whistleblower’s attorney’s communications sent to federal regulators were protected by the attorney work product doctrine. No. 15-cv-2353 (S.D. Cal....more

Court Refuses to Compel Disclosure of Archived E-Mails Due to “Undue Burden and Cost”

Elkharwily v. Franciscan Health Sys., No. 3:15-cv-05579-RJB (W.D. Wash. July 29, 2016). After a previous order granting the plaintiff’s motion to compel discovery of “live” e-mails, the court denied the plaintiff’s...more

Tenth Circuit Applies the Bevill Standard

Although corporations' in-house and outside lawyers should scrupulously avoid accidentally creating an attorney-client relationship with employees, they can also rely on what amounts to a favorable default rule — articulated...more

Recurring Issues in Accounting for Litigation Contingencies

Certain questions seem to recur when it comes to outside counsel’s communications with a company’s auditors about potential exposures as a result of litigation or regulatory/enforcement matters and the underlying accounting...more

Can privileged settlement negotiations be used to prove a hostile work environment?

In Shaw Communications Inc. and Unifor, Local M1, Re, 2016 CarswellNat 4032 (Saunders), a dispute arose following an employee’s allegation of harassment against a coworker. The employee filed a harassment complaint, and then...more

Mediation Privilege – Federal v. State Law Applicability

Mediation Privilege – Federal v. State Law Applicability In Re: TFT-LCD (Flat Panel) Antitrust Litigation; Sony Electronics, Inc. et al. v. Hannstar Display Corp. U.S. Court of Appeal, Ninth Circuit (September 1, 2016)...more

Court Points to Several Factors in Denying Work Product Protection: Part II

Last week's Privilege Point described a court's rejection of a work product claim based, in part, on an in-house lawyer's lack of involvement in creating the withheld documents. Phoenix Technologies Ltd. v. VMware, Inc., Case...more

Court Points to Several Factors in Denying Work Product Protection: Part I

Although some courts seem to misunderstand this, Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(3) on its face allows nonlawyers to create protected work product. But lawyers' involvement can buttress work product claims even in courts applying the...more

Copying Legal Counsel Doesn’t Create Privileged Communication

The attorney-client privilege is a long-standing and well-established principle that protects certain communication between client and attorney from disclosure. With the increased use of email, clients may often copy their...more

Anti-SLAPP Applies to Concealment Claim

Suarez v. Trigg Laboratories Inc., Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 4, California, September 7, 2016, Case No. B26511 - The California Court of Appeal for the Second District holds that anti-SLAPP statute...more

Drawing the Line Between Unprotected Logistics About Privileged Communications and Their Protected Content

Courts agree that in nearly every situation the attorney-client privilege does not protect the logistics of privileged communications — such as when and where clients and lawyers communicate. Similarly, the privilege normally...more

Who’s the “Real Client”? Attorney-Client Privilege Between Firm In-House Counsel And Other Firm Lawyers

While attorneys provide legal advice to their clients, they are sometimes the recipients of such advice from their own counsel, including in-house firm counsel. Agreeing with recent decisions by the highest courts of Georgia...more

Privilege and Practical Implications of Former Employees' Unauthorized Disclosures

Historical facts never deserve privilege protection. Something either happened or it didn't happen. But some litigants erroneously point to this axiom in seeking to discover factual portions of clients' privileged...more

Dronsfield v University of Reading

The recent case of Dronsfield v. University of Reading UKEAT/0200/15 has prompted some fairly sensationalist headlines. Take the Evening Standard, for example: "University of Reading art lecturer who had sex with 'vulnerable'...more

Missed Opportunity by The Supreme Court to Address the Erosion of Hospital Self-Review Privileges

In Tibbs v. Bunnell, the U.S. Supreme Court recently denied a hospital’s petition for certiorari to review the scope of the patient safety work product privilege. The hospital appealed from a Kentucky Supreme Court decision...more

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