Discoverability Of Joint Defense Agreement

By collaborating on a common process strategy and defense, competing companies can pool their knowledge, expertise and resources to achieve the most beneficial outcome for their respective customers. However, this practice is marred by anti-personnel mines that can have devastating effects on clients and practitioners. In complex cases of mass offences, different lawyers necessarily represent different clients with regard to matters of common interest. While formulating a common defense is a joint effort, lawyers involved in mass litigation with multiple defendants should not lose sight of the fact that they can share labor products and confidential information with their competitors, which has the potential to expose clients and pave the way for future disputes between co-defendants. The “common privilege of defence” does not function as an independent privilege; Rather, it allows co-accused persons and their lawyers to exchange information without infringing on a lawyer`s privilege. As good practice counsel, practitioners should ensure that they verify the definition of “common defence privilege” in the jurisdiction in which the dispute is pending. Easing the restrictions on solicitor-client privilege in the common defensive landscape can certainly generate huge benefits in the context of mass litigation. . .

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