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CALIFORNIA CORPORATE & SECURITIES LAW

Does Disclosure Of Results Of Internal Investigation Constitute Subject Matter Waiver?

Last Friday, I wrote about one of the docketed appeals in Wynn Resorts, Limited v. Eight Jud. Dist. Ct., 41 Nev. Adv. Op. 52 (2017).  Today’s post concerns the other docketed appeal in that case.  This appeal addressed whether disclosure of an internal investigation results in a waiver of the attorney-client privilege.  To recap, the case…

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Does Assertion Of Business Judgment Rule Waive Attorney-Client Privilege?

Nevada, like California, has codified the attorney-client privilege: A client has a privilege to refuse to disclose, and to prevent any other person from disclosing, confidential communications: Between the client or the client’s representative and the client’s lawyer or the representative of the client’s lawyer Between the client’s lawyer and the lawyer’s representative. Made for…

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Does Work Product Belong To The Lawyer Or The Law Firm?

California has codified the attorney work product doctrine in Section 2018.030 of the California Code of Civil Procedure.  That statute establishes two categories of protected work product.   Under subdivision (a), a “writing that reflects an attorney’s impressions, conclusions, opinions, or legal research or theories is not discoverable under any circumstances”.  Under subdivision (b), other work product of an…

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Magistrate Judge Rules SEC’s Attorney-Conduct Rules Preempt State Law

Last December, Chief Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero ruled that the SEC’s attorney-conduct rules preempt California’s statutory and professional rules requiring attorneys to maintain inviolate the confidences.  Wadler v. Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176166  (N.D. Cal. Dec. 20, 2016).  This is a topic that I and other members of the Corporations Committee of…

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Court Rules Attorney-Client Privilege Ceases To Exist When Corporation Ceases To Exist Without Successor

The LLC May Well Be The Platypus Of Business Organizations What happens to the attorney-client privilege when a corporation dissolves?  Magistrate Judge Sallie Kim recently answered that question in Virtue Global Holdings Ltd. v. Rearden LLC, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53076 (N.D. Cal. April 5, 2016): When a corporation ceases to exist, “the corporate powers, rights and…

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Court May Not Employ Alan Funt Tactics To Assess Attorney-Client Privilege

California, unlike other states, has codified the attorney-client (and other evidentiary) privileges.  Cal. Evid. Code §§ 900 et seq.  In an opinion issued last week, the California Court of Appeal provided a nice summary of how a court must assess attorney-client privilege claims: A court, however, may not review the contents of a communication to determine whether…

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Are Consultant’s Employees Functionally Equivalent To Client’s Employees?

As a general matter, the attorney-client privilege is waived by disclosing a communication to a third party.  When a corporation hires an investment banker, the corporation’s attorneys will frequently communicate with employees of the investment banker.  Are those communications protected by the attorney-client privilege or do those communications waive the privilege?  U.S. Magistrate Judge George…

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California Law Revision Commission Mulls Recommending Exception To Mediation Privilege

In This Evidentiary Privilege May Stop At The Border, I noted that Section 1119 of the California Evidence Code establishes a broad mediation privilege: No evidence of anything said or any admission made for the purpose of, in the course of, or pursuant to, a mediation or a mediation consultation is admissible or subject to…

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This Evidentiary Privilege May Stop At The Border

Unlike other states, California’s rules of evidence are found in statutes, not court rules.  This is not simply a legal curiosity.  The statutory basis of California’s “rules” of evidence have real world implications. The California Evidence Code begins with the underlying premise that disclosure is required. Thus, no person has a privilege unless otherwise provided…

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SEC Condemns Breach Of Client Confidences While Offering Possible Bounties For Breaches

Yesterday, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it had “charged a California-based attorney and his wife with insider trading on confidential information obtained from a corporate client.”  According to the SEC’s complaint, the attorney had tipped material non-public information concerning a client, Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Inc., to his spouse.  According to the SEC’s complaint, the attorney…

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