How does the attorney client privilege work with in house counsel?

Is in-house counsel advice privileged?

In the In-House Counsel context, the “client” is the company. The company, not its owners, is the holder (controls) of the attorney-client privilege. Confidential In-House Counsel attorney-client communications are deemed privileged unless the “dominant purpose” was something other than legal advice.

Are communications between in-house counsel privileged?

Although historically courts held there was no privilege, more recently courts—including one California court—have concluded that communications between attorneys and their firm’s in-house counsel are privileged.

Does general counsel have attorney-client privilege?

Because determining whether attorney-client privilege applies is inherently a fact-sensitive analysis, this article aims to provide an overview of the attorney-client privilege in general, specific issues facing in-house counsel, and finally, some practical guidance on how to address privilege issues in the corporate …

Are emails between in-house lawyers privileged?

The court concluded that the emails were not privileged. This decision confirms that the gathering of information by in-house counsel of a company, from an employee of that company, for passing on to external lawyers in order for advice to be provided by that external law firm is not privileged.

THIS IS IMPORTANT:  What is self advocacy in the workplace?

How does attorney-client privilege work?

Definition. Attorney-client privilege refers to a legal privilege that works to keep confidential communications between an attorney and his or her client secret. The privilege is asserted in the face of a legal demand for the communications, such as a discovery request or a demand that the lawyer testify under oath.

How do I claim attorney-client privilege?

No matter how the attorney-client privilege is articulated, there are four basic elements necessary to establish its existence: (1) a communication; (2) made between privileged persons; (3) in confidence; (4) for the purpose of seeking, obtaining or providing legal assistance to the client.

Who holds attorney-client privilege in a corporation?

California case law is unequivocal. The client of a lawyer serving as legal counsel to a corporation or other entity is that entity itself and the attorney-client relationship does not extend to the members or shareholders of the entity. In Wells Fargo Bank v. Superior Court (2000) 22 Cal.

What is an example of attorney-client privilege?

Virtually all types of communications or exchanges between a client and attorney may be covered by the attorney-client privilege, including oral communications and documentary communications like emails, letters, or even text messages. The communication must be confidential.

What are the exceptions to the attorney-client privilege?


  • Death of a Client. The privilege may be breached upon the death of a testator-client if litigation ensues between the decedent’s heirs, legatees or other parties claiming under the deceased client.
  • Fiduciary Duty. …
  • Crime or Fraud Exception. …
  • Common Interest Exception.

Who can assert attorney-client privilege?

2d 330, 334 (1993). The privilege is held by the client, who has the sole authority to waive the privilege. Nonetheless, the attorney is required to assert or invoke the privilege when necessary on behalf of the client, even without an express instruction by the client. There are few exceptions to the privilege.

THIS IS IMPORTANT:  Who is the best barrister in Australia?

Who does in-house counsel represent?

Who is the Client? For in-house counsel, the client is the organization and not any individual member of management or employee. (ABA Rules §1.13).

What is the difference between confidentiality and attorney-client privilege?

Attorney-client privilege protects lawyers from being compelled to disclose your information to others. … Confidentiality rules provide that attorneys are prohibited from disclosing any information for privacy reasons, unless it is generally known to others.

What makes a document privileged?

Sometimes, a document requested during discovery may be considered “privileged”; meaning that it is confidential and protected from public disclosure. However, just because a document may mention healthcare or an attorney, does not necessarily give the document privileged status.

What makes a document legally privileged?

Privilege is a legal right which allows persons to resist compulsory disclosure of documents and information. The fact that a document is sensitive or confidential is not a bar to disclosure, although privileged documents must be confidential.

How do you determine if a document is privileged?

The description of the document needs to contain sufficient facts to demonstrate why that document is privileged. Privilege logs are also commonly accompanied with a “players list” that not only shows the identity of attorneys, but also the positions of the non-lawyers on the communications.