Privilege Covers Law Firms' Talks With Inhouse Counsel

, The National Law Journal


Two state high courts ruled this week that the attorney-client privilege means that lawyers need not open confidential talks with their in-house counsel to clients bringing malpractice claims, as a third highest court prepared to mull the same question.

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    The Illinois appellate court addressed this issue last year and also held that the attorney-client privilege covers a law frm's communicaton with in-house and outside counsel. Peter Garvy v. Seyfarth Shaw, 2012 IL App (1st) 110115 (1st Dist. March 1, 2012)(Seyfarth attorneys' communications with in-house and outside counsel protected by attorney-client privilege for the period after conflicts disclosure letter sent). However, I do not believe the Illinois Supreme Court has ruled on the issue yet, although the Garvy case is headed back up to the appellate court again and may go to the Supreme Court. Comment by Paul E. Starkman, Pedersen & Houpt, Chicago, IL.

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