November 11, 2016 Top Story

Attorney-Client Privilege Protects Communications with Law Firm GC

Client cannot obtain communications between attorneys and law firm's general counsel

Theresa A. Vitello

A law firm's former client cannot access email communications between the firm's lawyers and its in-house general counsel. Since the law firm was not acting as a fiduciary for the client when the firm's attorneys sought the advice of the general counsel, the trial court erred in compelling production under the fiduciary or current client exceptions to the attorney-client privilege according to a New York appellate court.

Arbitration Loss Leads to Malpractice Claim

In Stock v. Schnaeder Harrison Segal & Lewis, LLP, the plaintiff hired the Schnaeder firm to negotiate his departure from a large public company. The client later claimed the law firm failed to advise him his departure would accelerate the expiration of stock options worth approximately $5 million. Once these stock options expired, the client filed an arbitration proceeding against his former employer to recover the value of the lost options.

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