Work Product Privilege

News & Analysis as of

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

Second Circuit Reaffirms That Attorney-Client Privilege Is Not Waived By Sharing Documents With Parties Pursuant to a Common Legal...

On November 10, 2015, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued an opinion reaffirming that the attorney-client privilege and work product protections were not waived by a businessman and his company when they...more

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

Companies' internal investigations can deserve (1) privilege protection, if primarily motivated by the need for legal advice; and (2) work product protection, if primarily motivated by anticipated litigation. In both...more

California Appellate Court Addresses Release of City Attorney’s Private E-mails

An appellate court ordered a trial court judge to reconsider his order that e-mails to and from the San Diego city attorney’s personal account be released publicly. The League of California Cities argued that e-mails between...more

Second Circuit Clarifies Common Legal Interest and Work Product Doctrines for Material Shared Among Transacting Parties

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently ruled that the “common interest” doctrine protects legal and tax liability analysis prepared for a client and subsequently shared with a consortium of banks providing...more

Second Circuit Determines That Tax Memo Shared Between Taxpayers and Banks Is Protected Under the Common Interest Doctrine and...

On November 10, 2015, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit unanimously held in a published opinion that (i) the attorney-client privilege was not waived by appellants-taxpayers who shared a group of documents,...more

Court Rules Target Data Breach Internal Investigation Documents Largely Protected by Attorney-Client Privilege/Work Product...

The Minnesota magistrate judge presiding over discovery in the litigation seeking to hold Target Corp. liable for the retailer’s 2013 data breach issued an order denying the motion by a plaintiff class of about 9,000 banks to...more

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