May 11, 2018 Top Story

Joint Defense Rule Shrouds Information Shared in Common Interest

Common interest doctrine acts as cloak preventing waiver of privilege

By Martha L. Kohlstrand

Parties with a common interest who agree to share information to defeat their mutual opponent do not waive privilege under either the attorney-client communications privilege or attorney work-product doctrine.

In Selby, et al. v. James M. O'Dea and State Farm Mutual Auto Insurance Company, the Illinois Appellate Court followed many other jurisdictions holding that litigants may share information with co-parties that implicates their common interests without waiving privilege.

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