Attorney-Client Privilege

News & Analysis as of

Privileged Status Of Internal Investigations At Risk - Court Finds Reports From Company's Internal Investigation Are Not...

A recent ruling by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia puts the privileged status of internal investigations conducted by internal resources at risk.In U.S. ex rel. Harry Barko v. Halliburton Company, the...more

Maintaining Privilege With Consultants - Practical Guide

Previously, we talked about the legal standards applied to claims of attorney-client privilege between a company's general counsel and outside consultants. Now, let's talk about practical tips for maintaining that...more

Focus on Tax Controversy and Litigation - Supreme Court Decides Woods v. Commissioner, Holds for IRS on Jurisdictional and...

In this issue: - US Supreme Court Imposes Valuation-Misstatement Penalty in TEFRA Proceeding - Southern District of New York holds Cooperation with Government Waives Attorney-Client Privilege - IRS Issues...more

Court Allows Third Party Discovery Of Broker Materials Claimed To Be Privileged

Defendant liability insurers sought discovery from Third Party Aon relating to a dispute between defendants and plaintiff regarding an umbrella coverage program. Aon provided some, but not all responsive documents, citing...more

D.C. federal court reconsiders decision on FOIA requests to CFPB

Last September, a federal district court in Washington, D.C. issued an opinion on Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests made by Judicial Watch to the CFPB for documents relating to Richard Cordray’s recess appointment as...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

District Court’s Attorney-Client Privilege Ruling Counteracts Incentives to Perform Internal Investigations

It has long been assumed that under the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision Upjohn Co. v. United States, reports generated during an internal investigation undertaken at the direction, and under the supervision, of corporate...more

Federal District Court: Documents Created During an In-House Corporate Compliance Investigation Are Not Privileged

In a noteworthy decision in Barko v. Hallilburton Co., a federal court has ruled that a company's internal investigations are not privileged and must be produced to a whistleblower. In light of the ruling in Barko, government...more

Proceed with Caution: D.C. District Court Says Attorney-Client Privilege and Work Product Doctrine Do Not Survive Internal Fraud...

On March 6, 2014, the District Court for the District of Columbia issued an opinion in United States ex rel. Barko v. Halliburton Company et al. that should serve as a wake-up call for all companies conducting internal...more

Intra-Company Disputes: Implications for the Attorney-Client Privilege and Fiduciary Duties

In the course of its decision in Chambers v. Gold Medal Bakery, Inc., the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts highlights a number of important rules related to the attorney-client privilege, as well as various rights and...more

Nevada Privilege Law May Be Inadvertently Waived During Witness Preparation

It is common for a witness to refer to documents when testifying in order to refresh the witnesses’ recollection. NRS 50.125 requires disclosure of any writing used to refresh a witness’ recollection before or while...more

Dear Mr. Snowden: Is it reasonable to expect my attorney-client communications are confidential?

Last month, Edward Snowden provided the press a document describing “how Australian intelligence conducted surveillance of trade talks between Indonesia and the United States and, in the process, monitored communications...more

Compliance Audit Information May Not Be Attorney Client Privileged

Attorneys routinely advise clients conducting audits and investigations that the audit or investigation should be conducted by outside counsel in order to establish attorney client privilege. ...more

Federal Court Ruling Raises Questions About Privileged Nature Of Certain Internal Investigations

On March 6, 2013, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that Kellogg Brown & Root Services, Inc. (“KBR”) must produce to a qui tam relator 89 documents relating to internal investigations...more

Oops and the FOIA, Part One; Kadri v. Groton Board of Education and Protections From the Accidental Disclosure of Attorney-Client...

What happens when your agency’s lawyer sends out a confidential letter that is somehow leaked? A relatively recent decision by the Freedom of Information Commission [“FOIC”] appears to indicate that all is not lost, as...more

Are Internal Compliance Investigations Privileged? D.C. District Court Rules No

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia holds documents related to internal investigations of possible violations of corporate code of conduct not protected from disclosure under either attorney-client privilege or...more

Supreme Court of Canada to Decide if a Lawyer Subject to Enforcement Proceedings can Claim Solicitor-Client Privilege

The Supreme Court of Canada recently granted leave to appeal in Minister of National Revenue v Duncan Thompson, 2013 FCA 197, which touches on the issue of whether a lawyer subject to enforcement proceedings can claim...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

View From Proskauer: ERISA Plan Fiduciaries—Are Your Conversations With Counsel Privileged?

It is generally understood that communications between clients and lawyers are privileged and that the substance of those conversations may not be divulged to third parties except in the rarest of circumstances. In the...more

Bad Faith Sentinel - March 2014

CONTENTS - United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit: An Absence of Ascertainable Damages Does Not Preclude an Award of Punitive Damages for Bad Faith pages 1 - 2 - Northern District of Alabama: Insurer...more

Missouri Supreme Court Holds Federal Act Does Not Preempt Missouri Law Barring Subrogation Of Personal Injury Claims

In essence overruling a previous opinion from the courts of appeal, the Missouri Supreme Court has held that the Federal Employee Health Benefits Act (“FEHBA”) does not preempt Missouri law prohibiting the subrogation of...more

Privilege Does Not Cover Communications With Outside Counsel Relating To Business-Related Advice, E.D.N.Y. Holds

Koumoulis v. Independent Financial Marketing Group, Inc., No. 10-CV-0887 (E.D.N.Y Jan. 21, 2014): A federal district court judge narrowly applied the attorney-client privilege and work-product doctrine by granting the...more

SEC Acknowledges Ethical Obligations May Preclude Voluntary Reporting Out By Attorneys

In 2003, the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted rules that purportedly immunized attorneys who, subject to specific conditions, reveal confidential information to the SEC. 17 C.F.R. § 205.3(d)(2) Technically, the...more

Welcome To The Hotel California: FCPA Enforcement

This past weekend I saw The Eagles on their ‘History of The Eagles’ Tour. It truly was that, a complete musical history of the group, from the beginning in 1971 up until now. They played for well over 3 hours and it was...more

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