Work Product Privilege

News & Analysis as of

First District Holds Public Agency’s Inadvertent Disclosure of Privileged Documents In Response To PRA Request Does Not Waive...

On July 31, 2015, the Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District, Division One, filed a 23-page published opinion holding that the inadvertent disclosure of attorney-client privileged and work product protected...more

Scope of Attorney-Client Privilege And Work Product Doctrine In Internal Investigations Clarified

The scope of the attorney-client privilege and work product doctrine for internal investigation reports has once again been clarified by the D.C. Circuit in a False Claims Act case against defense contractor KBR, Inc. In its...more

Internal Investigation Documents Are Protected from Disclosure in False Claims Act Case, D.C. Circuit Holds

Reversing a lower court decision, the D.C. Circuit recently concluded – for a second time – that certain internal audit documents are protected from disclosure by the attorney-client communication and work production...more

Appeals Court Clarifies Attorney-Client, Work Product Privileges in Internal Investigation Context: 3 Takeaways

In its latest review of the attorney-client and work product privileges in In re: Kellogg Brown & Root, Inc. (“In re KBR”), the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit again rejected the district court’s restrictive...more

Appeals Court Decision Protects Attorney-Client Privilege in Internal Investigation

In In re Kellogg Brown & Root, Inc., et al., No. 14-5319 (D.C. Cir. August 11, 2015), the Court reversed a district court’s ruling that KBR waived these protections by using materials created in the course of a privileged...more

D.C. Circuit Weighs In Once Again in KBR Privilege Fight

In the ongoing saga which has been the subject of a previous post on this blog, a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has once again found that the district court erred in ordering the production of the...more

When Do Contention Interrogatories Impermissibly Seek Protected Work Product?

Under the Federal Rules and parallel state rules, litigants may use what are called "contention interrogatories" to explore adversaries' factual support for their legal contentions. Courts normally regulate the timing of...more

The Patient Safety Act goes [back] to Washington

The scope of a little-known but nonetheless significant federal healthcare law, the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act ("Patient Safety Act), may soon be considered by the United States Supreme Court. In a petition...more

Does Sharing Work Product with the Government Always Waive that Protection?

For decades, companies trying to cooperate with the government have hoped for a change in the general rule that disclosing privileged communications and/or work product to the government waives those protections. In nearly...more

NLRB Removes Blanket Exemption on Mandatory Disclosure for Witness Statements. What’s an Employer To Do?

The NLRB recently reversed 37 years of precedent in deciding to adopt a new standard for a union’s access to witness statements taken in pre-grievance arbitration employer investigations. For years, under the blanket...more

Insurance Recovery Law - July 2015

In the Context of a Bad Faith Claim, Insurer’s Defense That Coverage Denial Was Reasonable Put at Issue Otherwise Protected Attorney-Client and Work Product Communications - Why it matters: Recognizing the “conflicting...more

Court Takes a Common Sense Approach to Rule 30(b)(6) Depositions

Rule 30(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allows corporations' adversaries to insist that the corporation select a spokesman to provide binding testimony about designated topics. These depositions almost...more

Claw Back of Privileged Documents Fails Where Defendants Had Used the Documents in Depositions, Expert Reports and in Briefs...

Defendants filed a motion to compel Adaptix to re-produce documents that Adaptix had clawed back on the grounds of privilege. Adaptix had early produced the documents in several productions. The Defendants argued in the...more

Courts Disagree About Basic Work Product Doctrine Elements: Part I

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and most state court rules memorialize their basic work product doctrine in just one sentence. But courts take divergent views on what that sentence means. ...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

The E-Discovery Digest - June 2015

In This Issue: - - Attorney-Client Privilege/Work Product Decisions: ..Decisions Protecting Against Disclosure ..Decisions Ordering Disclosure - Spoliation and Preservation Decisions: ..Sanctions...more

Tax Court Holds that Inadequate Privilege Log Subjects Putatively Privileged Documents to Disclosure

On May 26, 2015, the Tax Court issued its opinion in Pacific Management Group v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2015-97, holding that a privilege log provided to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was inadequate to sustain claims...more

Accountants Can be Either Inside or Outside Privilege Protection

Lawyers and accountants have always had an uneasy relationship, and that tension extends to the attorney-client privilege context. Accountants can either be inside or outside privilege protection. ...more

Insurance Recovery Law - May 2015 #2

Recent Lawsuit Underscores Critical Lessons for Purchasers of Cyber Insurance - Why it matters: Columbia Casualty Company v. Cottage Health Systems was filed on May 7, 2015, in the Central District of California. Cottage...more

The SJC Walks Back the GE Decision; State Agencies Can Protect Work Product

In its 1999 decision in GE v. DEP, the SJC surprised most Massachusetts lawyers by ruling that the Commonwealth’s Public Records Act (our version of FOIA) did not have an exemption for work product materials and that it had...more

Challenging Privilege Assertions: The Use and Abuse of Privilege in Class Action and Complex Litigation

Complex class action litigation involving major corporations can involve class periods going back years, with the potential for hundreds of thousands, or even millions of documents. Commonly included in such a document...more

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

District of Columbia Circuit Provides Good News and Bad News in a Work Product Case

Ironically, federal courts applying the federal work product rule take widely varying positions on a number of key elements, including the protection's duration; its applicability to litigation-related business documents; and...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

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

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