Attorney-Client Privilege Internal Investigations

News & Analysis as of

Attorney-Client Privilege in Washington State No Longer Applies When Employment Ends

In order to preserve the attorney-client privilege, counsel who conduct internal investigations begin employee interviews with an “Upjohn Warning”—a disclosure indicating that counsel represents the employer, not the...more

Conducting an Internal Investigation in the PRC? Protect Your Company From the Outset

Requests by a company’s counsel to interview company employees as part of internal investigations into potential misconduct are commonplace. But when a U.S. company and its counsel seek to interview citizens working for the...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

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

Protect the Privilege: Considerations in Employment Investigations

Employers can take many steps to help maximize the likelihood that attorney-client privileged information and work product will be protected in the context of employment-related investigations. In the recent case of City...more

Privilege Considerations in Cyber Incident Response

As with other types of crisis situations, a cyber security incident can generate not only operational issues, but also significant legal exposure. Affected companies should think through the associated privilege issues,...more

Redux - federal agencies attack employment agreements, and what you can do about it: 8 steps to consider

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” - Reading advance sheets often brings the closing line from The Great Gatsby to mind.  Our alert from April 2015 is being rerun in full...more

CA Appellate Court Rules That Outside Counsel’s Fact Investigation is Privileged

On June 8, 2016, the First Appellate District of the California Court of Appeal, reversed a Sonoma County Superior Court, holding that an outside counsel’s investigative report was protected from discovery by the...more

The UK’s second DPA: a hopeful judgment

The approval of the Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) between the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and XYZ Limited (XYZ) by Leveson LJ on 8 July 2016 has generated much breathless commentary, not least because it is only the...more

The European, Middle Eastern and African Investigations Review 2016: United Kingdom: handling internal investigations

With so much potentially at stake, the initial steps and strategic decisions taken in any company investigation are critical to setting the tone for a focused, credible and effective inquiry. This is paramount not only for...more

Personnel Investigation By Outside Attorney Protected From Disclosure In Discovery

Seyfarth Synopsis: California Court of Appeal holds that (1) an outside attorney’s investigation can be privileged even though the attorney simply investigated facts, and (2) the employer does not waive the privilege simply...more

"The E-Discovery Digest - June 2016"

The fourth 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, cost shifting and other e-discovery...more

The UK Bribery Act: SFO Procedures and DPA Process

A couple of recent articles about the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) caught my attention. One was on thebriberyact.com, entitled “Opinion: DPA’s must show greater benefits. We discuss the Criteria & Process for a DPA set out...more

The U.S. Chamber And the Yates Memo On DOJ Cooperation

Earlier this month Deputy AG Sally Yates defended her controversial memorandum on cooperation in remarks made before the New York City Bar Association White Collar Conference. The memo to which her name is attached redefined...more

Internal Investigations and Privilege: A Redux

An internal investigation into a workplace accident was privileged, and thus protected from disclosure, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench recently held in Alberta v Suncor Energy Inc, 2016 ABQB 264 [Suncor]. The Court found...more

How Does a Company Satisfy the Work Product Motivation Element for Post-Accident Investigations? (Part II)

Last week's Privilege Point discussed a court's rejection of a work product claim for a routine post-accident incident report. That defendant did not establish that the report was different from reports following accidents...more

Are Your HR Investigation Notes Protected Against Disclosure? Maybe, Maybe Not.

Just last month, two federal district courts reached different conclusions, further contributing to the confusion as to whether notes taken during a Human Resources department investigation of a discrimination or harassment...more

Preserving the Attorney-Client Privilege when Conducting an Internal Investigation

You may recall that, back in July 2014, we advised that the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals had overturned a D.C. District Court decision in a False Claims Act case that required the results of an internal investigation, which...more

The Justice Department’s Yates Memorandum and Three Tips for Government Contractors to Manage the Risks

The Department of Justice (“DOJ”) is setting its sights on individual accountability for corporate wrongdoing. That is the message that DOJ has been promoting following the recent internal memorandum issued by Deputy Attorney...more

Court Rules Target Data Breach Internal Investigation Documents Largely Protected by Attorney-Client Privilege/Work Product...

The Minnesota magistrate judge presiding over discovery in the litigation seeking to hold Target Corp. liable for the retailer’s 2013 data breach issued an order denying the motion by a plaintiff class of about 9,000 banks to...more

Cross-Border Investigations Update - November 2015

This issue of Skadden’s semiannual Cross-Border Investigations Update takes a close look at recent cases and enforcement trends, including developments in U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement; the introduction of...more

Lessons Learned from Target’s Data Breach Discovery Win - Five Strategies for Maintaining Privilege in the Aftermath of a Data...

A thousand questions immediately flood any lawyer’s mind when they first hear that their client may have been affected by a data breach. How did it happen? What data were affected? Was there any personal information affected,...more

The Asia-Pacific Investigations Review 2016

It goes without saying that wrongful conduct in a corporate setting can have drastic and irreparable legal, commercial and reputational consequences for the individuals and entities involved. Internal investigations, which...more

The E-Discovery Digest - October 2015

In This Issue: - Attorney-Client Privilege/Work Product Decisions: ..Decisions Protecting Against Disclosure ..Decisions Ordering Disclosure Other - Spoliation Decisions: ..Spoliation Sanctions...more

Beware the Feds: Emerging Risks to Health Care Executives Under the Yates Memo

Last month’s “Yates Memo” from the Department of Justice (DOJ) promises to be a game-changer in the world of government investigations and enforcement activity. While several U.S. Attorney Offices had been applying many of...more

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