Attorney-Client Privilege Work-Product Doctrine

News & Analysis as of

Court Finds Bracewell & Guiliani Report Unprotected by the Privilege or the Work Product Doctrine

Many clients assume that the attorney-client privilege will almost always automatically protect any law firm's report to them, and that the work product doctrine will also apply whenever they anticipate litigation. Like other...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

AbbVie Documents Not Protected by Privilege in FTC Sham Litigation Suit - Federal Trade Commission v. AbbVie, Inc., (E.D. Penn....

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania ordered AbbVie, Inc. and Besins Healthcare to produce unredacted documents to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), because the documents were relevant to the...more

The Privilege of PR: Application of the Attorney-Client Privilege to Crisis Communications and Public Relations in Breach Response...

Cyber-attacks have become a matter of everyday reality for all businesses: regardless of industry or size, it is no longer if a data breach will happen, but when. And waiting for a breach to occur before designing and...more

Privilege not Waived for Inadequate Privilege Log

Catalina Yacht Club, et al. v. The Superior Court of Orange County, et al. - Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Division Three (December 4, 2015) - Courts have broad discretion to impose sanctions of...more

Decision Highlights a Key Difference Between Attorney-Client Privilege and Work Product Doctrine Protection

The attorney-client privilege provides absolute but fragile protection. In contrast, work product doctrine protection can be overcome — but offers more robust safety than the privilege. This distinction affects the impact of...more

Focus on Tax Controversy and Litigation - Second Circuit Determines that Tax Memo Shared Between Taxpayers and Banks Is Protected...

In addition to the discussion of the Second Circuit’s decision in Schaeffler, this month’s issue features articles regarding the “new” IRS Notices covering “Basket Options” and “Basket Contracts”, the Tax Court’s recent...more

Second Circuit Upholds Common-Interest Privilege for Borrower’s Sharing of Legal Advice with Consortium of Lenders

The Second Circuit held last week that a borrower did not waive the attorney-client privilege by providing documents to a consortium of lender banks that shared a common legal interest with the borrower in the tax treatment...more

When Conducting Investigations, Consider "Privileges"

Whether voluntarily or as required by the International Safety Management Code, the American Waterways Operators’ (“AWO”) Responsible Carrier Program, or some other rule or regulation, investigations of accidents and...more

Attorney-Client Privilege and Work-Product Doctrine Shield Forensic Data Breach Consultant’s Communications and Documents from...

October 23, 2015, Magistrate Judge Jeffrey J. Keyes of the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota determined that the attorney-client privilege and the work-product doctrine shielded from disclosure...more

D.C. Circuit Once Again Upholds Privilege Over Internal Investigation Documents

In United States ex rel. Barko v. Halliburton Co. et al., a qui tam suit we previously covered, the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals once again ruled that defense contractor KBR Inc.’s internal investigation...more

Whew! That Was Close – D.C. Circuit Reaffirms Application of Attorney-Client Privilege and Attorney Work Product Doctrine in...

On August 11, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued a writ of mandamus supporting the robust applicability of the attorney-client privilege and attorney work product doctrines in the context of False...more

“Individual Accountability for Corporate Wrongdoing”: The Yates Memo and the DOJ’s Focus on Individuals

On September 9, 2015, the Department of Justice issued a memo (“Individual Accountability for Corporate Wrongdoing”) to federal prosecutors nationwide implementing new policies that—for the first time—prioritize the...more

Appeals Court Clarifies Attorney-Client, Work Product Privileges in Internal Investigation Context: 3 Takeaways

In its latest review of the attorney-client and work product privileges in In re: Kellogg Brown & Root, Inc. (“In re KBR”), the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit again rejected the district court’s restrictive...more

DC Circuit reaffirms confidentiality of internal investigation communications

For the second time in 14 months, the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit has taken the extraordinary step of issuing a writ of mandamus to stop a federal district court from requiring a federal government contractor to...more

Public Records in Massachusetts: Legislature looks to Improve Access and Top Court Clarifies Attorney-Client and Work-Product...

The combined efforts of Massachusetts’ highest court, its legislature, and the Governor’s office are clarifying and modernizing Massachusetts public records law, which is considered by some to be one of the weakest in the...more

Focus on Tax Controversy and Litigation - Supreme Court Decides Maryland v. Wynne and Rules that Maryland Tax Scheme Is...

In This Issue: - Maryland’s Tax Scheme Ruled Unconstitutional - “FTC Generator” Case Update - FSA Rules that Equitable Disgorgement May be Deductible Expense - District Court Upholds Attorney Client...more

Claw Back of Privileged Documents Fails Where Defendants Had Used the Documents in Depositions, Expert Reports and in Briefs...

Defendants filed a motion to compel Adaptix to re-produce documents that Adaptix had clawed back on the grounds of privilege. Adaptix had early produced the documents in several productions. The Defendants argued in the...more

The Ethics of Internal Investigations, Domestic and Abroad: Protecting the Attorney Client Privilege during Internal...

The attorney-client privilege and the work product doctrine are two of the oldest and most sacrosanct privileges in the law. The attorney-client privilege protects the functioning of the attorney and client...more

Tax Court Holds that Inadequate Privilege Log Subjects Putatively Privileged Documents to Disclosure

On May 26, 2015, the Tax Court issued its opinion in Pacific Management Group v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2015-97, holding that a privilege log provided to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was inadequate to sustain claims...more

Privileges Can Help Manufacturers in Product Liability Litigation, but Beware

This blog’s earlier post, “Protect Your Safety Investigations and Deliberations From Prying Eyes,” highlighted the three privileges that are useful for Safety Teams – self-critical analysis privilege (or self-evaluation...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

Commercial Restructuring & Bankruptcy Alert - October 2014

In this issue: - Judge Says That Stockton, California Can Cut Pension Obligations - Third-Party Releases – Better Make Sure They Are Adequately Disclosed - Lawyers Who Sign Proofs of Claims for Clients...more

Accountant and Attorney Liability Newsbrief - Fall 2014

In This Issue: - Attorneys’ E-mails to Client’s Independent Contractor May Be Protected by Attorney-Client Privilege - New York Appeals Court Decision Allows Predecessor Counsel to Place Equal Blame on Successor...more

Court Broadens Confidentiality of Investigations - D.C. Circuit extends privilege in internal corporate probes, but inconsistent...

You are counsel to a government contractor that is conducting an internal investigation into possible fraud. Federal mandatory disclosure obligations require an investigation, as does the need to gather facts to seek legal...more

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