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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

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

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

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

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

Proof of Claim Could Cost You Your Privilege - Bankruptcy Court Holds Attorney's Signature on Proof of Claim Form Renders Attorney...

A properly filed proof of claim serves as prima facie evidence as to a claim's validity. But when this written statement is signed by a creditor's attorney, the court may find that the attorney has become a fact witness and...more

Washington Insurance Law - 2013 Year in Review

2013 was a particularly eventful year in Washington insurance law. This paper summarizes the holdings of several notable Washington insurance decisions that were filed in 2013. Bad Faith - Attorney-Client...more

Apple v. Samsung: Samsung's Request for Stay of Discovery Orders Denied Where Magistrate Judge Made No Ruling on Privilege Issues...

As a result of Samsung's alleged violation of the protective order, Magistrate Judge Grewal previously ordered Samsung to produce to Apple emails and communications by Samsung employees that would shed light on the scope of...more

Three Common Questions Asked by Advisors of Non-Filing Taxpayers

Lawyers in every area run into clients who admit that they have not filed their tax returns. Among the many questions raised by this information are the following three, which come up nearly every time. This outline gives...more

Law Firm Internal Privilege: Update

If you attended our law firm risk managers' lunch forum in April, you will recall that two closely-watched cases - one in Georgia the other in Massachusetts - were then pending, involving the scope of the attorney - privilege...more

Who Do You Represent? Pitfalls and Perils of Representing an Organization

Introduction - In almost every long term care case, as well as other types of medical negligence cases, one or more of the defendants is some form of legal entity, usually a corporation. ...more

U.S. District Court Orders Disclosure of Tax Accrual Workpapers, but Protects Opinion Work Product Information

On June 4, 2013, the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota held that certain information contained in tax accrual workpapers must be disclosed by the taxpayer pursuant to an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) summons,...more

Delaware Chancery Court Orders Company and Board Committee Counsel to Provide Privileged Communications to Dissident Director --...

The Delaware Court of Chancery, in Kalisman v. Friedman (Apr. 17, 2013), ordered the respective counsels for a company and for a special committee of the company’s board of directors to provide to a dissident director copies...more

United States International Trade Commission Amends Rules Concerning Discovery in Section 337 Investigations

The United States International Trade Commission (ITC) on May 15, 2013, issued a notice amending Rule 210.27 of its Rules of Practice and Procedure in Section 337 investigations. The amendments go a long way in attempting to...more

Kinetic Moves To Disqualify Counsel In False Claims Act Qui Tam Action For Improper Use Of Contractor’s Privileged Documents

Arguing that relators’ counsel has retained and used, without authority, more than 800 of its attorney-client privileged and work product documents, Kinetic Concepts, Inc. (“KCI”) has asked the District Court for the Central...more

Washington Federal Judge Presumes that Liability Insurer May Not Assert Attorney-Client Privilege or Work Product Protection in...

On April 12, 2013, Judge Richard Jones of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington ruled that in a bad-faith lawsuit against a liability insurer, the judge would presume that the insurer has no...more

Washington Supreme Court Presumes that First-Party Insurers May Not Assert Attorney-Client Privilege or Work Product Protection in...

In Cedell v. Farmers Ins. Co. of Washington, No. 85366-5 (Wash. February 21, 2013), a 5-4 majority of the Washington Supreme Court established a new framework for evaluating attorney-client privilege and work-product issues...more

Pro Te Solutio - Vol. 5 No. 4 November 2012

In This Issue: - Forecast for the Physician Payments Sunshine Act: Partly Cloudy - Document Preservation Notices and the Lists of Who Receive Them: Are They Discoverable? - FDA Warning Letters Through...more

It Is Easy to Lose the Privilege Protecting Audit Documents

In a recent case, documents related to an audit which was described in internal correspondence as being done to assess general compliance were not privileged in later civil litigation since the Court found: (1) the audit was...more

It Is A Unitary Government Afterall: Privilege For Intra-governmental Communications

About a year ago, I blogged about a decision by the federal district court in the Lower Fox River case ruling that there was no attorney-client privilege protecting communications between government lawyers representing the...more

The Privilege is in the Policy: Tripartite Attorney-Client Relationship Arises Where Insurer Retains Counsel Pursuant to Policy...

In Bank of America v. Superior Court, ___Cal.Rptr.3d ___, 2013 WL 151153 (Cal. Ct. App. Jan. 15, 2013) the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District held that a tripartite attorney-client relationship...more

California Court Holds That A Tripartite Attorney-Client Relationship Exists Between A Title Insurer, Its Insured And Counsel...

Ten years ago, a California Court of Appeal took a relatively narrow view of the attorney-client privilege in conjunction with claims investigation and analysis conducted by a title insurer’s in-house counsel....more

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