In-House lawyers often assemble a team of specialists to handle knotty disputes that have the potential to spiral out of control. The team almost certainly includes outside counsel, but also forensic investigators, accountants, other consulting experts, or public-relations professionals.
As the dispute evolves, email communications among this team increase. And even where the emails involve in-house and outside counsel, the potential for privilege waiver also increases. In a long-running dispute involving the business of healthcare, a recent court decision illustrates the corporate attorney–client privilege’s fragility when a team’s lawyers share legal advice with the team’s non-lawyers.