The recent decision in U.S. ex rel. Baklid-Kunz v. Halifax Hospital Medical Center (the Halifax decision) demonstrates that organizations need to act carefully to protect emails involving in-house counsel and the compliance department. In this discovery decision, a whistleblower who had filed a False Claims Act action obtained hundreds of emails from a hospital’s in-house counsel and compliance department regarding physician compensation that was alleged to violate federal Stark law. While this case arose in the healthcare context, its lessons extend to any organization, including banks and insurance companies, that hopes to protect communications with in-house counsel and compliance personnel.
The best practices discussed in our publication show how to maximize the attorney-client privilege applicable to in-house counsel and to employees working under in-house counsel's guidance.
A related article, “Protecting Attorney-Client Privilege: Learn From Halifax,” authored by Thomas E. Zeno and Emily E. Root, was recently featured by Law360. Reprinted with permission by Portfolio Media. Inc. All Content © 2003-2013.