Work Product Privilege

News & Analysis as of

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

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

The Subject Matter Waiver Risk Continues to Recede

In some situations, disclosure or reliance on privileged communications or protected work product triggers a "subject matter waiver" — requiring the owner's disclosure of additional related communications or work product....more

Do Witness Interview Memoranda Deserve Opinion or Merely Fact Work Product Protection?: Part II

Last week's Privilege Point discussed Lance Armstrong's unsuccessful attempt to discover witness interview memoranda government agents prepared during their civil investigation of Armstrong's misdeeds. United States ex rel....more

Do Witness Interview Memoranda Deserve Opinion or Merely Fact Work Product Protection?: Part I

Unlike the absolute attorney-client privilege, the work product doctrine offers two possible levels of protection. Lawyers' (and other client representatives') opinions deserve absolute or nearly absolute protection in most...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

From ‘Akzo’ to ‘Loi Macron’: There is still no Legal Privilege for In-House Lawyers in France

A significant difference between the French and U.S. and UK legal systems is in the understanding of legal privilege: it does not exist for in-house counsel in France....more

Letter From America: Internal investigations – a stark reminder of the dangers of failing to implement strict protocols from the...

A recent ruling in long-running civil litigation against the Bank of China (“BOC”) in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York provides a stark reminder of the dangers of failing to develop and...more

District court limits application of privilege in internal investigations

The Southern District of New York offered a strong rebuke to defendant Bank of China (BOC) in a discovery dispute, finding that documents created as part of an internal investigation into potential terrorist activities of a...more

Court Of Chancery Upholds Privilege For Funding Agreement

Applying the Delaware “because of” test to determine what is covered by the work product privilege, this decision prohibits discovery of the funding agreement between a litigation funding firm and one of the parties to the...more

Game Changer? The S.D.N.Y. Endorses a Company-Friendly Privilege Standard

In In re General Motors LLC Ignition Switch Litigation, No. 14-MD-2543 (JMF), 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5199, at *220 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 15, 2015), Judge Furman upheld General Motors' claim of privilege and work product protection...more

2014 E-Discovery Year in Review - "Courts continued in 2014 to endorse the use of technology to improve the efficiency and...

2014 demonstrated that management and discovery of electronic information continues to be a challenging issue in litigation. A review of 2014 court decisions also underscores the importance of litigation hold notices,...more

Court Orders Production of Work Product Documents under Crime-Fraud Exception to Attorney-Client Privilege Where Defendants Had...

In an earlier filed decision, the district court had previously found that Escort and its defense counsel had knowingly misled the plaintiff, Fleming, which warranted a sanction of attorney fees. As explained by the district...more

Illinois Supreme Court Debates Scope of Accountant-Client Privilege in Will Contests

Last week, the Illinois Supreme Court heard oral argument in Brunton v. Kruger.  Brunton involves the scope of the accountant-client privilege – specifically, what happens to that privilege after the client dies, and how the...more

Nevada Lawyers Beware: Don’t Use Privileged Documents To Prep Your Client To Testify

Twice this year, the Nevada Supreme Court ruled that a party may be required to produce for inspection an otherwise privileged document used to refresh a witness’s recollection prior to or during the witness’s testimony at a...more

Safeguard Your Litigation Privileges When Working With Insurance Brokers On Complex Insurance Claims

Businesses facing catastrophic losses, whether as a result of an accident or a natural disaster, or due to mass tort claims, frequently will engage both their insurance broker and legal counsel to identify and pursue...more

District Court Precludes Deposition of In-House Counsel Who Acted as Part of Trial Team Even Though Counsel Had Relevant,...

After plaintiff, McAirlaids, requested the deposition of one of Kimberly-Clark's ("K-C") in-house litigation counsel, K-C filed a motion for a protective order pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(c) to preclude the deposition of...more

PTAB Grants Rare IPR “Motion to Compel”

Many parties to inter partes review proceedings continue to have their guns pointed directly at their feet, taking erroneous actions that are consistently called out by the PTAB. In the midst of one such error, we explore the...more

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