Massachusetts Court Shields Email Communication Seeking legal advice on draft press release | Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP

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Adversaries often challenge each other’s appeals to privilege in the heart of a dispute, and sometimes these challenges are taken to court. in camera exam. In Governo Law Firm LLC v. CMBG3 Law LLC, et al.Justice Salinger, sitting on the Massachusetts Commercial Litigation Session, ruled that attorney-client privilege protected from production a confidential email from the defendants to their attorney “seeking comments on a draft press release.” . . embedded in the text of the email.

After reviewing the email in camera, Judge Salinger ruled that “it is evident that this defendant sent this confidential communication to an attorney in order to obtain legal advice on whether issuing a press release in this form could create a legal exposure for defendants”. Although the communication “does not contain legal advice”, “it does not matter”, Judge Salinger explained. “Any confidential communication between the lawyer and the client, in both directions, is privileged if it [is] made for the purpose of obtaining or giving legal advice, whether or not the communication conveys legal advice.

Justice Salinger also observed that because “attorney-client privilege protects confidential communications, not confidential information”, “an attorney-client confidential communication of a draft press release or a draft letter to a third party will remain privileged (unless waived) even if the document is subsequently finalized and sent.

You can read the decision here.

You can also read our previous article on the case here. This post focuses on a ruling by Judge Salinger barring proof of reasonable damages.

Suffolk Superior Court

File number: 1684CV03949-BLS2

Case name: Governo Law Firm LLC v. CMBG3 Law LLC, et al.

Decision date: March 29, 2022

Judge: Judge Salinger

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