In-house lawyers owe the same professional obligations with respect to the preservation of privileged communications as outside counsel. However, in-house counsel may confront challenges relating to the application of the attorney-client privilege that differ from those faced by outside counsel. The attorney-client privilege and work product doctrine apply to in-house counsel in the same manner that they apply to outside counsel. To understand the difference in the challenges faced by in-house counsel and outside counsel, one need not look much farther than how the attorney-client relationship giving rise to the privilege is formed. For example, as the resident lawyer, in-house counsel are often confronted with questions prefaced with the phrase “as my lawyer.” But does that title really fit? When is in-house counsel representing the individual as opposed to the entity? How should one draw the line between the provision of legal advice which is potentially privileged and business advice which, while possibly confidential, is not privileged? Understanding the parameters of the attorney-client privilege and the work product doctrine is essential to being able to maintain the trust that forms the basis of the attorney-client relationship and to protect the client. This paper is intended as an overview of some of the issues in-house counsel face relating to the preservation of confidentiality.

For a copy of the entire white paper, “Managing the Attorney-Client Privilege and Work Product Doctrine: Considerations for In-House Counsel,” please contact Greensfelder’s marketing department at 314-345-5456.