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Fighting for the Future of In-house Attorney-Client Privilege

January 13, 2021 Media Mentions

To be able to conduct or oversee effective internal investigations, in-house counsel must be able to assure witnesses that their communications with investigators, documents evidencing those communications, and documents the investigators create, will be subject to the attorney-client and/or work product privileges. In-house counsel have expressed concern that if employees learn their comments are or may not be privileged, they will be reluctant to be candid in providing information to investigators, information that is often essential to maintaining effective compliance programs.

In an interview published in the ACC Docket on January 13, 2021, Verrill attorney Tom Bean discusses the amicus brief he filed on behalf of the Association of Corporate Counsel in Attorney General v. Facebook, a case pending before the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. The case arose after the Attorney General issued civil investigative demands to Facebook for documents created during Facebook’s attorney-led internal investigation of app developers. The Superior Court ordered Facebook to produce, over Facebook’s objections on the grounds of privilege, documents responsive to most of the Attorney General’s requests. Mr. Bean explains what motivated him to accept the case, to argue for preserving the privileges for internal investigations directed by in-house counsel, and the reasons he thinks the Court's decision in the case could have far-reaching consequences for in-house counsel in Massachusetts.

Click here to read the full article on ACC Docket.

Firm Highlights

Matter

Appellate Practice: Coastal Property Rights in Kennebunkport

We represented coastal landowners in a high-profile appeal before the Maine Supreme Court, in which the Town of Kennebunkport claimed ownership of Goose Rocks Beach against numerous homeowners whose deeds described property down to...

News

Verrill Trial Attorneys Once Again Recognized as “Local Litigation Stars” in Benchmark Litigation 2021 Edition

(January 14, 2020) – Eight Verrill attorneys have again been recognized for their litigation skills in Benchmark Litigation’s 2021 edition. In addition to the firm’s eight individual rankings, both Karen Frink Wolf and Martha...

Matter

International and Constitutional Law: Representation of Government of Mexico Seeking Parens Patriae Standing

Verrill attorneys represented the Government of Mexico in this high-profile appeal involving civil rights claims by over 1,000 Mexican migrant workers at an egg production farm in Maine. Mexico sought parens patriae status, specifically...

Matter

Taxation and Constitutional Law: Amicus Brief to U.S. Supreme Court regarding Sales Taxation by States

Verrill represented the National Auctioneers Association as amicus curiae in the U.S. Supreme Court case South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc . The case presented the issue of whether states could require out-of-state sellers to...

Matter

Elections and Constitutional Law: Constitutionality of Ranked Choice Voting

Verrill Dana represented the League of Women Voters in two proceedings before the Maine Supreme Court relating to the constitutionality of Maine’s voter-approved ranked choice voting law. The first proceeding, Opinion of the Justices...

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Healthcare: Discoverability of Confidential Health Records

Verrill Dana filed two amicus briefs on behalf of the Maine Hospital Association and Maine Medical Association regarding the scope of permissible discovery of third party medical records in medical malpractice cases. The issue...

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Environmental & Land Use Law: Protection of Private Coastal Property Rights for Conservation of Intertidal Habitat

Verrill successfully represented coastal landowners in first-impression litigation against a Canadian seaweed harvesting company with global operations to determine who owns the sea plants that are growing on private intertidal property in Maine. In...

Matter

Elections and Constitutional Law: Certification of Initiative Petition to Ban Casino Gambling

Verrill successfully represented ten Massachusetts citizens who challenged the Attorney General’s refusal to certify an initiative petition under the state constitution that would have banned casino gambling in Massachusetts. In a unanimous opinion, the...

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Real Estate and Mortgage Law: Sufficiency of Mortgagee’s Notice of Right to Cure to Borrower

Verrill filed an amicus brief on behalf of the Maine Association of Mortgage Professionals in a case involving an issue of first impression under Maine law regarding the sufficiency of a statutory notice of...

Matter

Professional Regulation and Constitutional Law: First Amendment Challenge to State Law

We represented the Massachusetts Board of Public Accountancy in defending against a First Amendment challenge to a state law that barred accountants who were not certified public accountants from describing themselves as “accountants,” with...

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