Privilege Waivers Attorney-Client Privilege

News & Analysis as of

Privilege Waiver: Is Your File-Sharing Site a Public Park Bench?

While courts and the Federal Rules of Evidence take an increasingly pragmatic approach to the question of when inadvertent disclosure of privileged information results in waiver, a recent federal magistrate’s ruling serves as...more

Ex-General Counsel Dodged Privilege Claims Before $14.5 Million Verdict

In our last post, we detailed how Sanford Wadler, the former general counsel of Bio-Rad Laboratories, won a $14.5 million verdict against Bio-Rad. Before Wadler could get to a jury, however, he had to surmount a...more

Evidence Law Litigation Update - February 2017

New York Court of Appeals Holds That the Common Interest Doctrine Applies Only to Litigation Matters. This year, in Ambac Assurance Corp. v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., No. 80, 2016 N.Y. Lexis 1649 (N.Y. June 9, 2016), New...more

Involvement of Opinion Counsel in Trial Strategy Results in a Broad Subject-Matter Waiver that Extends to Trial Counsel

In a December 13, 2016, order (made publicly available in redacted form on January 5, 2017), the District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina enunciated a broad waiver of the attorney-client privilege for a party...more

District Court Orders Production of Attorney-Client Communications Between Opinion Counsel and Trial Counsel Based on Advice of...

Plaintiff Krausz Industries Ltd. ("Krausz") filed a motion for an order compelling Defendants Smith-Blair, Inc. and Sensus USA, Inc. (collectively "Smith-Blair") to allow discovery into various attorney-client communications...more

California Supreme Court Concludes Attorney Invoices Privileged During Ongoing Litigation

Attorney invoices may be protected in their entirety by the attorney-client privilege during ongoing litigation. After litigation has concluded, however, those same invoices may be discoverable. So concludes the California...more

Corporate Individual Creating a Privileged Communication May Not Control Waiving it

While companies, like people, are entitled to protect privileged communications with their counsel, companies only can act through individuals. So what happens when the former CEO wants to disclose a privileged communication...more

The Attorney Client Privilege in Community Associations

Few legal concepts rival the complexities surrounding the attorney-client privilege in community association matters. The confusion about these complexities, and the resulting misunderstandings, do not discriminate, roping...more

Production of Insurance Company Claim Files In Bad Faith Litigation: Three Years After Cedell, Where Are We?

Bad faith litigation is complex and costly. In these types of cases, the discovery process often sets the initial tone of the lawsuit and the request for production of the insurer’s claim file is automatic. Typically, the...more

Tenth Circuit Applies the Bevill Standard

Although corporations' in-house and outside lawyers should scrupulously avoid accidentally creating an attorney-client relationship with employees, they can also rely on what amounts to a favorable default rule — articulated...more

After Defendant Seeks to Claw Back Attorney-Client Privileged Documents, District Court Determines Privileged Waived (Including...

The defendants produced documents in response to plaintiffs' first set of requests for production and included in the production were five documents that the defendants were later claim were subject to attorney-client...more

Everest Indemnity Insurance Company v. Rea Rejects Implied Waiver Of The Attorney-Client Privilege

As it stands now, the majority decision in Everest is clear: No implied waiver of the attorney-client privilege occurs where adjusters themselves make the claims decisions and do not rely on the advice of counsel to form...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 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

Court Analyzes a Subject Matter Waiver's Scope

Once a feared effect of disclosing privileged communications (sometimes even inadvertently), subject matter waivers now occur in most courts only when a litigant attempts to gain some advantage in litigation by affirmatively...more

[Webinar] Ethics - Confidentiality Issues Re: Attorney Client Privilege and Information - June 8th, 12:00pm CT

Confusion surrounds the attorney-client privilege. Many think they have it when they do not and even if they do, they fail to appreciate how easy it is to lose. In either case, not enough attention is paid to the possibility...more

Beware of Unguarded Talk: A Cautionary Tale of Privilege Waiver in Wisconsin

Loose lips sink ships. And, at least according to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, they can sink the protections afforded to privileged communications. A decision last week in a criminal case could have considerable...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

Corporations Can Risk Privilege Protection by Relying Too Heavily on Legal Advice when Firing Employees

Corporations firing employees normally must explain why. All corporate lawyers recognize that affirmatively pleading "advice of counsel" as an employment case defense normally waives privilege protection, but the risks can...more

Claiming Privilege or Work Product Protection During Discovery Can Risk Trial Disaster

Last week's Privilege Point addressed the decreasing subject matter waiver risk of corporations' pretrial disclosure of arguably privileged communications, or even their passing reference to legal advice in pretrial filings....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

More Courts take a Narrow View of Subject Matter Waivers

Thanks to common law developments and Federal Rule of Evidence 502, the frightening specter of subject matter waivers now usually only arises when litigants affirmatively rely on privileged communications to gain some...more

Attorney-Client Privilege Not Waived in Mistaken Records Release, California Appellate Court Finds

*As published in PublicCEO A Bay Area school district that inadvertently released attorney-client privilege documents following the resignation of its superintendent did not waive its disclosure exemption right granted...more

Business Litigation Report - September 2015

Alleging Fraud in a Financial Crisis: The Second Circuit Articulates a Less Stringent Pleading Standard for Loss Causation: Loss causation has emerged as a central obstacle to post-financial-crisis fraud cases. The loss...more

KBR And Maintaining Privilege Throughout Investigations

Last month, for the second time, the D.C. Circuit in In re Kellogg Brown & Root Inc., No. 14-5319, slip op. (D.C. Cir. Aug. 11, 2015), granted a writ of mandamus sought by KBR and vacated a series of district court orders...more

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