Privilege and work product

AuthorWilliam M. Audet/Kimberly A. Fanady
Task 12 Assert Attorney-Client Privilege
Task 13 Assert Work Product Immunity
Task 14 Assert Other Privileges
Task 15 Demand a Privilege Log
Task 16 Compile a Privilege Log
Task 17 Challenge a Privilege Log
Task 18 Oppose Challenge to a Privilege Log
Form 5 Privilege Log
(This page intentionally left blank.)
Assert Attorney-Client Privilege
A. Evidence protected by the attorney-client privilege is generally not discoverable. See FRCP 26(b)(1).
B. For every discovery request and disclosure requirement addressed to your client, determine whether the requested
information is protected by the attorney-client privilege or work product doctrine (see Task 13). No bright-line
rule governs the application of the privilege; rather, the courts apply the privilege on a case-by-case basis. In re
Witness Before the Special Grand Jury 2000-2, 288 F.3d 289, 291 (7th Cir. 2002) (“Rule 501 manifests a con-
In re Taproot
Sys., No. 11-05255-8-JRL, 2012 Bankr. LEXIS 2750, at *5 n.1 (Bankr. E.D.N.C. June 15, 2012) (same); In re
Syncor ERISA Litig., 229 F.R.D. 636 (C.D. Cal. 2005) (listing elements of privilege); Morisky v. Public Serv.
Elec. & Gas Co., 191 F.R.D. 419 (D.N.J. 2000) (construing federal common law privilege).
C. While privilege assertions are generally governed by state law (see In re Grand Jury Investigation, 918 F.2d
374, 379 n.6 (3d Cir. 1990); see also Lexington Ins. Co. v. Swanson, 240 F.R.D. 662, 666 (W.D. Wash. 2007)
(“Because federal jurisdiction in this case is based on diversity, Washington law applies to claims of attorney
   
appropriate assertion of privilege will often consist of the following elements:
1. The party for whom the privilege is invoked is a client or seeks to become a client. See Dombrowski v.
Bell Atlantic Corp., 128 F. Supp. 2d 216 (E.D. Pa. 2000) (communications between in-house counsel
conducting due diligence investigation of merger target corporation and target’s employees not privileged
because conversations were not between attorney and client; merger completion did not retroactively
make communications privileged). The client, not the attorney, holds the privilege.
2. The person with whom the client communicates is an attorney or attorney representative and is acting as
such in the communications. See Rehling v. City of Chicago, 207 F.3d 1009 (7th Cir. 2000); United States
v. Davita, Inc 
privilege); 
Outdoor Media Group, Inc.)-
Gorman v. Polar Electro,
Inc., 137 F. Supp. 2d 223 (E.D.N.Y. 2001) (privilege would apply to communications between client
and patent agent when agent acting under control and authority of counsel and communications related
to prosecution of patent application); Fin. Techs. Int’l v. Smith, 49 Fed. R. Serv. 3d 961 (S.D.N.Y. 2000)
  
facts); compare Cavallaro v. United States  
 
on corporate merger); Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies Support v. Siemens Industry, Inc., 2014
WL 6679107 (E.D.N.C. 2014) (emails including discussions of patent unprivileged when not copied to
attorney or patent agent); Nemecek v. Board of Governors of Univ. of N.C., 48 Fed. Rules Serv. 3d 254
   
   
to assist in the rendition of legal services is necessarily within the scope of the privilege. See Ruran v.
Beth El Temple of W. Hartford, Inc., 226 F.R.D. 165 (D. Conn. 2005) (attorney’s comments on temple
employee made as congregation member not privileged); Calvin Klein Trademark Trust v. Wachner, 198
   
   
  
might help counsel formulate legal advice);
a. Where an insurer has agreed that it has a duty to defend and indemnify its insured in litigation, both
the insured and the insurer are considered clients of the insured’s lawyer, and the privilege covers

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT