What is common interest doctrine?

What is common interest doctrine?

The doctrine that allows separately represented parties with common legal interests to share information with each other and their respective attorneys without destroying the attorney-client privilege. It is also known as the joint defense doctrine.

What is the difference between a joint-defense agreement and a common interest agreement?

As a starting point, many courts distinguish between the joint defense and common interest privilege, determining that the former is narrow and arises from actual litigation, while the common interest privilege is broader and does not require litigation to be pending.

Are common interest agreements discoverable?

Hall, the court noted that “[c]ases that have addressed whether joint-defense agreements are discoverable or protected by the joint-defense privilege run the gamut.” Case No. Courts addressing the common interest doctrine rarely if ever point to the pertinent common interest agreements’ provisions.

Do joint-defense agreements have to be in writing?

In California, there is no formal joint-defense privilege. Although joint-defense agreements can be formed orally, a joint-defense agreement should always be in writing and reviewed with and signed by the client. United States v.

What is the purpose of a common interest agreement?

Common interest agreements allow attorneys representing different clients with similar legal interests to share information, coordinate strategy, and limit costs, without compromising the confidentiality protections provided by the attorney-client privilege and work product doctrine.

Does the common interest doctrine apply to work product?

A communication between parties who share a common interest is not necessarily a privileged communication. Rather, the common-interest doctrine prevents such a communication from waiving attorney-client privilege or work-product protection in circumstances in which such privilege or protection would otherwise apply.

Who holds the common interest privilege?

The common interest privilege is “an extension of the attorney client privilege.” “It serves to protect the confidentiality of communications passing from one party to the attorney for another party where a joint defense effort or strategy has been decided upon and undertaken by the parties and their respective counsel …

Can a party waive common interest privilege?

It allows communications to remain privileged when shared among persons and their lawyers, as long as each person present shares a ‘common interest. The presence of a third party may waive the privilege, if that third party is not reasonably necessary to the lawyer and client’s communications.

When can common interest privilege be asserted?

The party asserting the privilege generally must show that: (1) the communications were made in furtherance of a joint defense effort; (2) the statements were designed to further that effort; and (3) the privilege was not waived. In re Sealed Case, 308 U.S. App.

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