Inside DC Circ. Oral Arguments In KBR Privilege Case

In this article, Matthew Reinhard discusses the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals's hearing of an oral argument in a mandamus petition filed by Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR) that could significantly impact the way internal investigations are conducted and memorialized. A D.C. District Court judge ordered that KBR produce in discovery certain internal investigative reports even though the reports were prepared by KBR employees at the direction of in-house counsel. In sum, the District Court ruled the reports were not protected from discovery by the attorney-client privilege or work product doctrine and must be produced in the underlying qui tam action. "As Judge Kavanaugh noted, in any opinion by the court 'semantics will be important,'" Reinhard said, adding that "this case appears poised to have potentially far-reaching effects regarding the application of the attorney-client privilege and the breadth of available mandamus relief in the D.C. Circuit."
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