Law Firm Internal Investigations and the Attorney-Client Privilege
Maintaining Confidentiality and Avoiding Conflicts of Interest
Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A
- Attorney–client privilege
- Scope of privilege
- Intra-firm dissemination of privileged information
- Current client or fiduciary exception
- Court and state bar treatment
- Ethical considerations
- Conflicts of interest
- Fiduciary duty to client
- Best practices to maintain confidentiality
- Appoint regular general counsel or ethics counsel
- Investigate or act on professional liability or responsibility issues when they arise
- Firm counsel treat investigation as client matter
- Firm counsel must safeguard attorney–client privilege and work product doctrine
- No discussion of investigation with aggrieved client
- Consider withdrawal from client representation (at least on particular matter)
The panel will review these and other key questions:
- What protections are available to law firms as they conduct internal investigations?
- What are the common challenges asserted by aggrieved clients to access information gathered in the firm's internal investigation?
- What ethical issues should law firms consider when undertaking an internal investigation?
- What steps should firms take to protect the confidentiality of the information resulting from the internal investigation?
John K. Villa
Williams & Connolly
He focuses his practice in legal malpractice defense and corporate and financial services-related litigation (civil... | Read More
He focuses his practice in legal malpractice defense and corporate and financial services-related litigation (civil and criminal). He has gained national prominence defending top law firms in trouble. The American Lawyer called him the premier legal malpractice defense lawyer in the nation and the Washington Post says "John Villa ...[is] the lawyer ...firms turn to when they're in trouble."Close
William M. Sullivan, Jr.
Winston & Strawn
He concentrates in corporate internal investigations, trial practice, and white-collar criminal defense, as well as... | Read More
He concentrates in corporate internal investigations, trial practice, and white-collar criminal defense, as well as complex civil litigation and securities enforcement and other regulatory actions. He has substantial experience representing both companies and individuals in government and corporate investigations.Close
Nancy J. Marshall
Deutsch Kerrigan & Stiles
She heads the firm's Professional Liability Section and concentrates on defending legal malpractice claims. She... | Read More
She heads the firm's Professional Liability Section and concentrates on defending legal malpractice claims. She represents the endorsed insurer for the Louisiana State Bar, among other insurers. She has served as a member of the ABA Standing Committee on Lawyers Professional Liability.Close
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