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Showing 6 posts in Attorney Client Privilege.

Chancery Addresses Standards for Privilege Logs

Posted In Attorney Client Privilege, Chancery, Discovery, Privilege


Thermo Fisher Scientific PSG Corp. v. Arranta Bio MA, LLC, C.A. No. 2022-0608-NAC (Del. Ch. Jan. 18, 2022)
To assert privilege in Delaware, the asserting party must provide clear and specific reasons as to how and why privilege applies. Such that opposing counsel can comprehend the privilege asserted and challenge unsupported claims. This task is accomplished with a clear and concise privilege log listing all documents subject to privilege with individual descriptions for each. The mere presence of an attorney on the communication will not render that communication privileged, and documents must be appropriately redacted rather than simply withheld when non-privileged material exists alongside privileged legal advice. Delaware counsel should be involved in privilege log decisions. More ›

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Chancery Addresses When Third Parties Are Within the Scope of the Privilege

Posted In Attorney Client Privilege, Chancery, Privilege


Police and Fire Ret. Sys. of the City of Detroit v. Musk, C.A. No. 2020-0477-KSJM (Del. Ch. January 31, 2023)
A communication is privileged under Delaware Rule of Evidence 502(b) if it is confidential and "made for the purpose of facilitating the rendition of professional legal services to the client." Rule 502(a)(2) defines a confidential communication as one "not intended to be disclosed to third persons other than those to whom disclosure is made in furtherance of the rendition of professional legal services to the client or those reasonably necessary for the transmission of the communication." Rule 502(b) makes clear that the presence of a client's "representative" does not waive confidentiality or break privilege, but the rule itself does not define "representative." More ›

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Chancery Denies Motion to Compel Director’s Privileged Communications Stored on Third-Party’s Email Server

Posted In Attorney Client Privilege, Chancery, E-Discovery


In Re Dell Technologies Inc Class V Stockholders Litigation, Consol. C.A. No. 2018-0816-JTL (Del. Ch. Sept. 17, 2021) (TRANSCRIPT)
A director utilizing an email account associated with a different company for board service communications might unintentionally compromise otherwise privileged communications. Here, a member of Dell’s board of directors served on a special committee and utilized an email account associated with his former employer to communicate with the committee’s lawyers. Plaintiff moved to compel the production of otherwise privileged communications on his account, raising the question of whether the director had a reasonable expectation of privacy in his communications. More ›

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Chancery Declines to Order Production of Privileged Document

Posted In Attorney Client Privilege, Chancery, eDiscovery


Drachman v. BioDelivery Sciences International, Inc., C.A. No. 2019-0728-LWW (Del. Ch. Aug. 25, 2021)
Drachman addresses the attorney-client privilege, certain exceptions thereto, including the Garner doctrine, and waiver. Plaintiffs moved to compel the production of a redacted document over which defendants asserted privilege. The document in question was part of an email thread, or group of related communications, that included the advice of counsel and was produced across multiple documents with inconsistent redactions. One version of the communication “slipped through the cracks,” and was produced without redactions before being clawed back by the defendants under the confidentiality order entered in the case. More ›

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Chancery Denies Director Access to Privileged Materials Involving Counsel to Preferred-Appointed Directors

Posted In Attorney Client Privilege, Chancery, Directors

Gilmore v. Turvo, Inc., C.A. No. 2019-0472-JRS (Del. Ch. Aug. 19, 2019).

As several Delaware decisions teach, each director, as a member of the larger deliberative body that is the board, has a fundamental right to access corporate information to carry out his or her fiduciary duties.  Thus, as a general rule, a Delaware corporation “cannot assert the privilege to deny a director access to legal advice furnished to the board during the director’s tenure.”  There are several exceptions to this rule.  More ›

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Merger Agreement’s Preservation of Privilege for Pre-Merger Communications Found to be Adequate, Notwithstanding that the Surviving Company Took Possession of E-Mails

Posted In Attorney Client Privilege, Cases, M&A, Merger Agreements

Shareholder Representative Services LLC v. RSI Holdco, LLC, C.A. No. 2018-0517-KSJM (Del. Ch. May 29, 2019).

This decision confirms that, in a post-merger dispute between an acquirer and the selling stockholders, broad contractual language can prevent a waiver of the acquired company's privileged pre-merger communications, even if the surviving company takes physical possession of the communications. RSI Holdco, LLC acquired Radixx Systems International, Inc. in 2016, and the merger agreement designated Shareholder Representative Services LLC as representative of Radixx's selling shareholders. As part of the merger, RSI Holdco acquired Radixx’s computers and email servers, which contained 1200 pre-merger emails between Radixx and its counsel; Radixx had not excised or segregated the communications from other data. However, the merger agreement contained a detailed provision that (1) preserved Radixx’s privilege, (2) assigned it the representative of selling stockholders, (3) required the parties to take steps to ensure that the privilege remained in effect, and (4) prevented RSI Holdco from relying on the privileged communications in post-merger litigation. In Great Hill Equity Partners IV, LP v. SIG Growth Equity Fund I, LLLP, 80 A.3d 155 (Del. Ch. 2013), the Court had found that privilege transferred to the surviving company in a merger as a matter of law pursuant to section 259 of the DGCL because (i) the parties did not address privilege in the merger agreement, and (ii) because the at-issue communications were turned over. Great Hill cautioned future parties to "use their contractual freedom" to exclude privileged communications from the transferred assets. Here, the Court rejected RSI Holdco's argument that the failure to excise the communications waived privilege in this circumstance, and the Court noted that even if the privilege had been waived, the merger agreement still prevented RSI Holdco from relying on the communications in the litigation. Thus, the Court concluded that the sellers "heeded the Great Hill court's advice" and found the detailed provision in the merger agreement preserved the privilege attached to the pre-merger communications.

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