Touch Base–Court Applies U.S. Privilege Law to German Internal Investigation Reply

Foreign corporations with a significant U.S. presence increasingly face this question—which country’s privilege law applies when their U.S. lawyers communicate with the companies’ foreign employees?  The SDNY confronted this choice-of-privilege-law issue where a “principally” U.S. law firm conducted an internal investigation for a German company. In re: Ex Parte Application of financialright GmbH, 2017 WL 2879696 (SDNY June 22, 2017).  You may read the decision here.  Let’s discuss. More…

VW Avoids Privilege Waiver in Dieselgate Internal Investigation—Here’s How Reply

May you disclose a privileged document to a government-enforcement agency and, later, successfully claim that the privilege precludes disclosure to an adversary in a civil proceeding?  Generally, there is no common-law selective-waiver doctrine, but the SDNY, in In re: Ex Parte Application of financialright GmbH, 2017 WL 2879696 (SDNY June 23, 2017), found no privilege waiver when Volkswagen’s lawyers disclosed privileged information to the Justice Department under a Non-Disclosure Agreement.  You may read the opinion here.

Internal Investigation into Emissions Scandal

Volkswagen’s 2015 emissions scandal—where it inserted software to circumvent U.S. emissions tests—is well known.  VW retained Jones Day, which conducted an extensive factual investigation as part of its representation.  Jones Day analyzed millions of documents and interviewed hundreds of VW employees.

DOJ Deal More…