Most lawyers are very familiar with the attorney-client privilege and the attorney work product doctrine, but some counsel may not focus on the details of how those privileges function for in-house counsel. For in-house counsel, issues of what communications or materials are protected by the privileges, who can have access to such materials and still maintain the privileges, and related issues, can become significantly complex – a complexity that is often obscured rather than illuminated by the fact that the "client" is their employer, but that not all individuals within the organization constitute the "client." With a special focus on in-house counsel employed by nonprofit organizations, this Legal Quick Hit will address:
- The basics of the attorney-client privilege and the attorney work product doctrine;
- How to distinguish legal advice from advice given in a business capacity;
- The impact of affiliate/subsidiary relationships on issues of privilege and work product protection;
- Tips for identifying which individuals within an organization are the “client” for purposes of privilege; and
- The risk environment for in-house counsel.
W. Warren Hamel, Esq., Co-Chair of Venable's SEC/White Collar Criminal Defense Practice Group
Victoria R. Danta, Esq., Associate in Venable's SEC/White Collar Criminal Defense Practice Group
For more information and to listen to the Quick Hit recording if you are an ACC member, click here.