Category: Attorney-Client Privilege

Quirky Question # 175: In-House Counsel Barred From Qui Tam Action Against Former Employer

Quirky Question # 175: In-House Counsel Barred From Qui Tam Action Against Former Employer

Question: I know you have written in the past about former in-house counsel suing their former employers in connection with their terminations. We have a slightly different twist on that situation. Our former in-house counsel has filed a qui tam lawsuit against our firm based on information he learned while employed and his supposition about what occurred after his employment...

Quirky Question # 155, Privilege Issues

Quirky Question # 155, Privilege Issues

Quirky Question # 155 A class action discrimination lawsuit was filed against our company. The proposed class included all African American employees who were employed during a specified time period. This group includes our former Vice President of Human Resources. We learned recently that the plaintiffs’ lawyers have met on several occasions with our former VP of HR. This troubles...

In-House Counsel as Whistleblower, Kidwell vs. Sybaritic, Inc.

In-House Counsel as Whistleblower, Kidwell vs. Sybaritic, Inc.

The Minnesota Supreme Court finally has ruled on Kidwell v. Sybaritic, Inc., Nos. A07-584 and 788 (June 24, 2010), the “in-house counsel as whistle-blower” case that was pending before it for more than 18 months. Unfortunately, the Court’s ruling has not brought clarity to this area of the law.

Reviewing Employee’s Email, Quirky Question # 144

Reviewing Employee’s Email, Quirky Question # 144

Quirky Question # 144: I’m confused.  I thought we could review our employee’s email communications when sent out on our company’s equipment.  Our electronic communications policy states clearly that we reserve the right to do so. I also thought we could review even privileged communications between our soon-to-be ex-employee and his attorney, if these communications were sent on our email...

Searching a Former In-House Counsel’s Computer, Quirky Question # 111

Searching a Former In-House Counsel’s Computer, Quirky Question # 111

Quirky Question # 111: We fired one of our in-house counsel.  He now has sued us for a variety of claims, all of which we think are bogus.  At the time his employment ended, we required him to turn in his company-owned computer.  We are reviewing it and finding that it contains a treasure trove of information useful to our...

Litigation by In-House Counsel, Quirky Question # 50

Litigation by In-House Counsel, Quirky Question # 50

Quirky Question # 50: We are a small to mid-size company, with a relatively small legal department.  We have a General Counsel.  He, in turn, supervises two other attorneys.  The General Counsel joined our company about two years ago, and frankly, his relationship with C-level executives has not been ideal.  His relationship with the CEO has been particularly strained.  The...

Email Communications with Lawyer, Quirky Question # 18

Email Communications with Lawyer, Quirky Question # 18

Quirky Question # 18: We recently terminated one of our executives.  One of our standard practices when we terminate a senior executive is to check carefully his/her email communications for the preceding twelve months.  When we checked this executive’s email communications, we discovered approximately eight messages to and from a private law firm.  The message subject line was:  “Personal, My...