GC’s Inactive Status Doesn’t Nix Attorney-Client Privilege, Judge Says
Posted Jan 6, 2011 11:22 AM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss
Gucci America may assert attorney-client privilege for communications with a top in-house lawyer who had taken inactive status, a federal judge had ruled.
U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin of Manhattan said Gucci was entitled to assert the privilege based on its reasonable belief that Jonathan Moss was in fact a lawyer, the New York Law Journal reports. "To require businesses to continually check whether their in-house counsel have maintained active membership in bar associations before confiding in them simply does not make sense,” she wrote (document posted by Law.com).
Scheindlin set aside a magistrate’s finding that Gucci’s documents were not protected from disclosure in a trademark infringement suit it has filed against Guess.