Confidential Communications

News & Analysis as of

New York and North Carolina Take a Narrow Approach to Common Interest Doctrine

Brief Summary - The "common interest doctrine" generally protects attorney-client communications, even if such communications are disclosed to a third party, as long as the third party shares a common legal interest with...more

‘Sorry, But You Have Nothing in Common’: The New York Court of Appeals’ Recent Rejection of the ‘Common Interest Doctrine’...

The New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, recently rejected an attempt to apply the “common interest doctrine,” an exception to the general rule that communicating privileged information to a third party...more

New York's Highest Court Reverses Appellate Division, Reaffirms Litigation Requirement for Common-Interest Privilege

In a recent decision reversing the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, First Judicial Department, the New York Court of Appeals definitively held that the common-interest privilege may be used in New York...more

Monitoring and Recording Consumers’ Calls in California Can Be a Risky Practice

Many businesses monitor or record customer service, telemarketing, and other telephone calls with consumers to help them improve customer service and for evidentiary reasons. Under federal and many state laws, calls may...more

New York’s Highest Court Refuses to Expand the Common Interest Doctrine to Merging Parties

On June 9, 2016, the New York Court of Appeals issued a stark reminder to transactional lawyers: no matter how much “common interest” two parties may have with respect to a transaction, the common interest doctrine may not...more

Electronic Health Records Company Settles FTC Charges It Misled Consumers 

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has entered into a proposed settlement with Practice Fusion, the largest cloud-based electronic health records company in the country. The company solicited physician reviews from...more

M&A Update: New York Court of Appeals Rejects Extension of Common Interest Privilege to Merger Talks

On June 9, 2016, a divided New York Court of Appeals in a much-anticipated ruling held that the attorney-client privilege can only be maintained for communications involving third parties in situations where litigation is...more

Car Accident Mediation? — It’s Confidential!

Woodland Hills car accident attorney Barry P. Goldberg always recommends mediation to his clients whenever a resolution cannot be obtained through informal negotiations. Often, these are cases that are litigated and hotly...more

Can the Privilege Protect Emails that Lawyers Do Not Send or Receive?

Because privilege logs generally require withholding litigants to identify emails' senders and recipients, the absence of a lawyer's name often triggers discovery skirmishes. Not surprisingly, the withholding litigants'...more

Court Issues a Surprising Common Interest Doctrine Decision

The common interest doctrine can sometimes allow separately represented clients to avoid the normal waiver implications of disclosing privileged communications to each other. However, courts take widely varying views of the...more

Wells Fargo Learns That Recording Calls In California Can Be Costly

In the past few years, many organizations such as Capital One, Bass Pro Outdoor, and the Cosmopolitan Hotel have faced class actions alleging violations of California’s call recording law. This week, California’s Attorney...more

How Do Courts Apply the "Primary Purpose" Privilege Standard?: Part I

In nearly every court, the attorney-client privilege protects intra-corporate communications only if their "primary purpose" was the corporation's need for legal advice. How do courts apply this standard? One might think that...more

Are Consultant’s Employees Functionally Equivalent To Client’s Employees?

As a general matter, the attorney-client privilege is waived by disclosing a communication to a third party. When a corporation hires an investment banker, the corporation’s attorneys will frequently communicate with...more

WIN Wise: Back to basics - Legal professional privilege

The law of England and Wales recognises two main types of legal professional privilege: Legal advice privilege, and Litigation privilege. ...more

Third Party Administrator Update: TPA Regulatory and Legislative Developments - December 2015

Polsinelli is pleased to share the December 2015 Third Party Administrator Newsletter. This newsletter covers topics throughout the year that effect TPAs. Items discussed in this report include: - State Insurance...more

CPA-Client Privilege Doesn't Extend to Criminal Proceedings

It's Monday morning and your client, who recently retained you for estate tax planning advice, informs you that the IRS is auditing her income tax returns from the past three years. In reviewing her tax returns and financial...more

Welcome Clarification of English Law Regarding Legal Advice Privilege

The High Court has delivered an important judgment on the application of legal advice privilege to factual reports delivered by lawyers to their clients in the context of a regulatory investigation. In the case of Property...more

SEC Seeks Increased Access to Email

Jacqui Merrill, an Associate at The Volkov Law Group, joins us with a posting on the SEC’s request for increased access to emails. In a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting held on September 16, 2015, Securities and...more

Servicers Beware: RESPA Transfer of Servicing Letter May Trigger FDCPA Initial Debtor Communication Disclosure Requirement

In Hart v. FCI Lender Services, Inc., the Second Circuit made it clear that servicers should pay close attention to initial communications with borrowers upon commencing loan servicing when it determined in an August 12, 2015...more

Court Rejects “Gotcha” Theory of Waiver Under Public Records Act

A California appellate court has ruled that inadvertent disclosure of documents containing attorney-client communications in response to a Public Records Act request does not result in a waiver of the privilege. Newark...more

Proceed with Caution: Attorney-Client Privilege and Communications with Third-Party Consultants

In our modern economy, businesses regularly use all manner of third-party consultants for many different reasons, including cost, efficiency, and expertise. Less regularly, communications between businesses and consultants...more

California Supreme Court Will Review Appellate Decision Holding That Attorney Bills Are Privileged

In June, I blogged about County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors v. Superior Court, 235 Cal. App. 4th 1154 (2015). In that case, the California Court of Appeal (Second Appellate District) concluded that legal defense bills...more

Courts Assess Whether Client and Lawyer Agents are Inside or Outside Privilege Protection: Part II

Last week's Privilege Point discussed a court's consideration of privilege protection for communications with client and lawyer agents. Two weeks later, another court analyzed Debevoise & Plimpton's argument that the...more

Under California Law, Attorney Billing Statements Are Confidential Communications

In County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors et al. v. The Superior Court of Los Angeles, 2015 DJDAR 4085, the California Court of Appeal for the Second District ruled that attorney invoices may be confidential...more

The Common Interest Privilege May Offer More Protection Than You Thought.

Consider for a moment a situation when an Owner and a General Contractor want to exchange confidential communications relating to a potential legal matter. When the Owner and Contractor are not both parties in a suit, what...more

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