Spring/Summer 2014 , Karen Painter Randall and Steven A. Kroll's article "Getting The Monkey Off Your Back: Whose Privilege Is It Anyway?" published in USLAW magazine.
The attorney-client privilege is one of the oldest and most respected privileges as it prevents a lawyer from being compelled to reveal his/her client’s confidential information. The purpose of this privilege is to ensure that clients receive accurate and competent legal advice by encouraging full disclosure to their lawyer without fear that the information will be revealed to others. Pursuant to RPC 1.6, a lawyer shall not reveal information relating to the representation of a client unless the client gives informed consent, thus, making clear it is the client’s privilege to waive. In a traditional attorney-client relationship, where the client is a single person, it is easy to determine whose privilege it is to waive. However, in the context of a corporation, which may include board of directors, shareholders, and thousands of employees communicating with general counsel, this becomes a much harder question to answer.
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