Attorney-Client Privilege

News & Analysis as of

Court Says Cyber Forensics Covered by Legal Privilege

The Middle District of Tennessee recently issued a key decision in the ongoing Genesco, Inc. v. Visa U.S.A., Inc. data breach litigation. The court denied discovery requests by Visa for analyses, reports, and communications...more

Sony Pictures’ hacked emails reveal privileged communications

The 2014 Sony hack is again in the news, this time highlighting the threat that data breaches pose to the attorney-client privilege. On April 16, 2015, WikiLeaks announced that it had posted and indexed hacked Sony emails....more

Internal Investigations: Do No Harm

Internal investigations are an ever-present challenge for companies. They can involve virtually any topic and arise in myriad ways.  Embezzlement, accounting improprieties, bribery, and financial statement adjustments can all...more

Alberta Court of Appeal Affirms Sanctity of Solicitor-Client Privilege under FOIPPA

In University of Calgary v JR, 2015 ABCA 118, the Alberta Court of Appeal strongly affirmed the central importance of solicitor-client privilege to the proper functioning of the legal system. At issue was whether the Freedom...more

Court Makes Important Decision in Privileged Document Case

In many circumstances, courts say that corporations might relinquish privilege protection through internal privileged communications even beyond employees who have a “need to know.” This policy is often criticized because it...more

Federal Court Rules That HR Consultant’s Report is Not Privileged

On March 27, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York granted the plaintiffs’ motion to compel disclosure of a report prepared by a Human Resources (“HR”) consultant in class action litigation under...more

Attorney Billing Invoices Privileged From Disclosure Under PRA

California Court of Appeal Rules Attorney-Client Privilege Exemption Covers Billing Invoices - Billing invoices sent by an attorney to a client are exempt from disclosure under the California Public Records Act, a...more

Court Condemns Law Firm's Privilege Claim as "Subterfuge": Part II

Last week's Privilege Point described an outside regulatory compliance consultant's work for a company which worried about its non-compliant billing practices and about possible litigation, that consultant's later agreement...more

I Think We’re Alone Now: Applying the Common-Interest Privilege When No Litigation is Pending

Recently, the New York Appellate Division broadened that state’s common-interest privilege doctrine. In Ambac Assurance Corp. v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., 124 A.D.3d 129 (N.Y. App. Div. 1st Dep’t 2014), the court removed...more

Insurance Companies and the Attorney-Client Privilege in Arizona  [Video]

Phoenix business law firm Jaburg Wilk Insurance attorney Nathan D. Meyer discusses whether an insurance company can waive the attorney-client privilege in Arizona without asserting the advice of counsel defense. For more...more

Court Condemns Law Firm's Privilege Claim as "Subterfuge": Part I

Some companies begin internal investigations or audits for business reasons, but later try to cloak related communications and documents with work product privilege protection. ...more

Everest Indemnity Insurance Company v. Rea - Court Addresses Whether Insurance Company’s Consult With Counsel Constitutes Waiver...

Rudolfo Brothers Plastering, Inc. claimed that Everest Indemnity Insurance Company acted in bad faith by entering into a settlement agreement that exhausted the liability coverage of an Owner Controlled Insurance Program...more

Carefully Draft NDAs to Avoid Whistleblower Concerns

In light of the SEC’s first enforcement action against a company for impeding whistleblower activity in violation of Rule 21F-17, employers may wish to consider clarifying in their agreements, policies and practices that...more

Washington Insurance Law - 2014 Year in Review

Introduction: During the final six months of 2014, Washington judges issued several notable insurance-related decisions. As was the case during the first six months of 2014, many of those decisions were favorable to...more

[Webinar] Power-up Your Privilege Review: Protecting Privileged Materials in Ediscovery - April 29, 12-1pm CST

With the growth of information subject to privilege reviews and the increased role of technology, protecting privileged documents is one of the most critical issues for lawyers and legal teams working on an ediscovery...more

Board to Parties: “Call Me” - FLIR Systems, Inc. v. Leak Surveys, Inc.

In an order issued after a post-conference call order, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB or Board) denied patent owner’s request to file a motion seeking sanctions, suggesting...more

Nevada Lawyers Beware: Client Communications During Deposition Breaks May Not Be Privileged

Scenario: You have spent hours prepping your client for her deposition testimony. A key document is introduced at the deposition and opposing counsel begins to ask a series of questions about the significance of the...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

Use of General Counsel as Informant Against Corporate Client – A Reminder of the New Era in Aggressive White Collar Investigative...

The use of more aggressive investigative techniques in white-collar corporate probes in the aftermath of the last financial crisis is no secret. Over the last decade, law enforcement has increasingly resorted to...more

Contempt Charge Vacated Based On Valid Assertion of Attorney Client Privilege - Waste Management of Washington, Inc. v. Kattler et...

Finding that a district court had not provided procedural due process to an attorney for a sanctioned party, and that the district court abused its discretion in imposing sanctions for civil contempt against the attorney, the...more

California Supreme Court to Hear PRA Case on Inadvertent or Accidental Disclosure of Privileged Records

The California Supreme Court has granted review of a controversial Public Records Act ruling and will decide whether the well-recognized protection for attorney-client privileged documents inadvertently disclosed during the...more

California Court Again Reinforces Mediation Confidentiality Hindering a Client’s Ability to Sue His Lawyers!

Woodland hills personal injury lawyer Barry P. Goldberg encourages mediation in almost every case he handles. In California, what is said and communicated in the mediation context is privileged and cannot be used in...more

How to Protect Corporate Attorney-Client Privilege – Defense Fails in Sex Discrimination Case

Last month, a Pennsylvania federal judge rejected a company’s claim to attorney-client privilege as an obstacle to pursuit of a sex discrimination suit brought by a lawyer and former employee....more

Insurer Not Required To Produce Coverage Memoranda Or Reinsurance Information In Discovery

A federal district court in New York has held that the attorney-client and work-product privileges apply to coverage memoranda sought by an insured from AIG Specialty Insurance in an ongoing coverage and bad faith litigation...more

SEC Whistleblower Inquiry Raises Concerns About Protection of Confidential and Privileged Information

According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, the SEC has launched an inquiry into whether corporations are using confidentiality agreements to prevent employees from communicating with the SEC about potential securities...more

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