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Litigation: Keeping that corporate privilege

Two recent cases underscore courts’ different views of attorney-client privilege

In-house counsel’s dual legal and business responsibilities can frequently create issues when assessing the extent of attorney-client privilege that applies to internal documents. With in-house counsel participating in more strategic and business-focused roles, old assumptions about privilege and communications with other corporate employees face new challenges. At the same time, mergers, restructuring and other corporate transitions may result in multiple entities or individuals claiming the right to attorney-client privilege or arguing that it’s been waived.

Two disputes this past year highlight how trial and appellate courts can take different views of privilege than those used within an organization. These decisions provide an opportunity for all in-house counsel to reassess current privilege practices and procedures.

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Jan Conlin

Jan M. Conlin is a partner at Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P. and chairs the business litigation practice. She serves as trial counsel for...

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Contributing Author

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Andrew Pieper

Andrew J. Pieper is an attorney at Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P. and practices in complex business litigation.

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