Attorney-Client Privilege in Government: Whether, When, and to Whom the Privilege Applies

A live 90-minute CLE webinar with interactive Q&A

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

1:00pm-2:30pm EDT, 10:00am-11:30am PDT

Early Registration Discount Deadline, Friday, September 13, 2019

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE webinar will alert public and private government attorneys, along with those who represent clients involved in government investigations, to the unique aspects of the attorney-client privilege. Government attorneys must pay attention to who, precisely, their client is, and what policy considerations exist in government representation that do not exist in purely private representation. Attorneys representing clients involved in government investigations should begin paying attention to potential privilege questions on day one of the investigation.


Representation during a government investigation raises issues regarding the attorney-client privilege and work-product immunity that may not be present in nongovernmental private practice. Counsel must take care to understand these differences or presumably privileged information may end up in the public domain. Counsel must make sure that the client and those involved in communications are aware of the boundaries of the privilege.

The threshold issue for counsel is the identification of the client--is it the government, the government official, or the public (or some hybrid combination). Identifying the client is substantially parallel to which communications are protected. Counsel must make sure that the client and those involved in communications are aware of the boundaries of the privilege.

Outside forces can overcome the privilege in the form of a FOIA request or a pending criminal investigation. A related issue is whether counsel is under any higher duty to report privileged information.

Listen as the panel aids in defining the parameters of this critical, dangerous, and timely issue. The panel will also focus on the related issue of work-product immunity and the differing roles of public and private counsel.



  1. Applications of the elements of privilege to government representation
    1. Who is the client
    2. What is (and is not) the type of communication subject to privilege
  2. Issues concerning work-product immunity
  3. Policy considerations regarding the loss of the privilege
    1. FOIA
    2. Government investigation
    3. Criminal activities
  4. Differences between public and private counsel


The panel will review these and other relevant matters:

  • How to provide maximum protection under the privilege to government clients
  • Instances when the privilege would exist in private representation but not necessarily in government representation
  • Recent developments in the area of privilege during government investigations
  • Policy considerations relating to waiver or loss of the privilege


Cassidy, Margaret
Margaret M. Cassidy

Cassidy Law

Ms. Cassidy's practice focuses on corporate compliance, internal investigations and white collar criminal defense....  |  Read More

Schwalbe, Laura
Laura K. Schwalbe

Harter Secrest & Emery

Ms. Schwalbe vigorously defends clients facing government investigations, coordinates internal and independent...  |  Read More

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