Work Product Privilege

News & Analysis as of

"The E-Discovery Digest - June 2016"

The fourth edition of The E-Discovery Digest focuses on recent decisions addressing the scope and application of the attorney-client privilege and work-product doctrine, spoliation, cost shifting and other e-discovery...more

Court Takes a Liberal View of Privilege for Communications Between a Plaintiff and a Litigation Funder

With litigants' increasing reliance on litigation funders, courts have had to wrestle with privilege and work product issues, including whether litigants and their litigation funders share a "common interest" allowing the...more

Legal Advice Or PR Plan? A Pertinent Privilege Conundrum

The ever-expanding scope of what constitutes the “press” creates new issues for companies and their counsel dealing with disputes that either are in or will develop into litigation. Routine corporate disputes that received no...more

Litigation Funder Communications Protected by the Attorney-Client Privilege and Work Product Doctrine

Addressing a novel issue in In re: International Oil Trading Company, LLC, 548 B.R. 825 (Bankr. S.D. Fla. 2016), the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida recently denied in part an involuntary...more

The Tennessee Business Court Tackles Privilege Claims

The Tennessee Business Court has provided additional guidance to commercial litigators concerning internecine legal battles between members of limited liability companies. The Court has determined the fiduciary duties of...more

Zapproved’s Brad Harris on Fundamentals of a Good Evidentiary Preservation Plan

The duty to preserve evidence is well established; litigants must take reasonable steps to ensure information is not deleted or altered once the duty arises. The duty to preserve applies equally to both plaintiff and...more

E-Discovery — Are custodial collections none of your business?

The party receiving discovery requests in litigation has the job of trying to understand the locations of potentially responsive data and documents; determining the identity of key custodians; and determining the most...more

Mine Accident Investigation Facts Not Subject to Attorney Privileges, ALJ Rules

According to at least one administrative law judge, neither the work product privilege nor the attorney-client privilege allows an Arizona metal producer and its contractor to withhold factual information gathered during the...more

Will Discovery Unlock Your Claim File? Federal or State Court Jurisdiction Could Make The Difference

Differences between federal court and state court procedure can be important for insurers that find themselves involved in “bad faith” litigation. If a lawsuit alleging extracontractual claims is filed in federal court, or...more

Some Courts Misapply the Common Interest Doctrine

The common interest doctrine can allow separately represented clients to share attorney-client privileged communications without waiving that very fragile protection. In contrast to privilege-protected documents, work product...more

Are Your HR Investigation Notes Protected Against Disclosure? Maybe, Maybe Not.

Just last month, two federal district courts reached different conclusions, further contributing to the confusion as to whether notes taken during a Human Resources department investigation of a discrimination or harassment...more

California Supreme Court Holds that Inadvertent Disclosure In Response to a Public Records Act Request Does Not Waive The...

In a unanimous opinion addressing a legal issue of statewide importance, the California Supreme Court resolved a split of authority and held that a governmental entity’s inadvertent release of privileged documents under the...more

How Far Does the "Functional Equivalent" Standard Extend?

Many previous Privilege Points have addressed the corporate-friendly "functional equivalent" doctrine, under which non-employees who essentially act as employees are inside privilege protection. An equal number of Privilege...more

Delaware Court Approves Litigation Funding Agreement

The Delaware Superior Court issued a recent decision providing the following guidance to parties regarding how to properly structure litigation finance agreements in order to avoid claims of champerty and maintenance: (i) the...more

California Supreme Court Finds that a Public Agency Cannot Inadvertently Waive Attorney-Client and Work Product Privileges

Last year, I wrote about the Second Appellate District case of Ardon v. City of Los Angeles. In Ardon, the appellate court found that a public agency can waive statutory privileges that it otherwise would have if it produces...more

Distinguishing Between "Facts" and Lawyers' "Opinions"

Although the attorney-client privilege does not protect historical facts, any facts "created" during or in anticipation of litigation can present a difficult analysis. In Gilead Sciences, Inc. v. Merck & Co., Case No....more

The E-Discovery Digest - February 2016

This is the third edition of The E-Discovery Digest, a periodic publication on notable decisions relating to key discovery topics. It is designed to keep clients up to date on the evolving state of the law regarding discovery...more

Court Refreshingly Interprets the Work Product Rule as it is Written

In one of the greatest mysteries involving the work product doctrine, some federal courts only protect documents created by or at the direction of lawyers — although Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(b)(3) cannot possibly be read to include...more

Focus on Tax Controversy and Litigation - New Partnership Audit Procedures May Dramatically Affect the Assessment and Collection...

In addition to the discussion of the new partnership audit rules, this month’s issue features articles regarding a recent district court decision in Ellis v. United States regarding the attorney-client privilege and work...more

Second Circuit Offers Bad News, Good News and No News

In Schaeffler v. United States, 806 F.3d 34 (2d Cir. 2015), the Second Circuit reversed a district court's holding that (1) a taxpayer waived his privilege protection by disclosing protected legal advice to his lenders, and...more

December 2015: International Arbitration Update

Increasing Trend of Requiring Disclosure of Litigation Funding Agreements in International Arbitration. Third-party funding of litigation is a fast- growing industry, and funders have become increasingly active in funding...more

Protecting Your Rights to Work Product

Any work product created by company employees belongs to the employer. However, business owners are surprised to learn that intellectual property rights to work product created by independent contractors hired to develop...more

Who Controls an Audit Committee's Privilege and Work Product Protection if the Company Declares Bankruptcy?

Many courts recognize that a corporation's constituent (such as an audit committee or a group of independent directors) can own the privilege and work product protection covering the constituent's internal corporate...more

Why Every Data Breach Response Plan Should Involve Outside Counsel

The importance of retaining outside counsel after a data breach was recently underscored in the Target data breach class-action litigation filed by the financial institutions. Plaintiffs filed a motion to compel Target to...more

Courts Reject Protection for Corporate Investigations, but Offer Helpful Guidance: Part II

Last week's Privilege Point described two cases rejecting defendant's protection claims for internal investigations. In each case, the court held that the defendant undertook its investigation in the ordinary course of its...more

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