The Regents of the University of California et al v. Affymetrix, Inc. et al, 3-17-cv-01394 (CASD June 19, 2018, Order) (Stormes, MJ)
Thursday, June 21, 2018
Common Interest Doctrine Does Not Apply to Unrepresented Parties
The court granted plaintiff's motion to compel the production of an email with a third party manufacturer that defendants clawed back under the common interest privilege because the manufacturer was not represented by counsel. "There is support for the position that all parties must be represented by counsel for the common interest exception to apply. . . . The requirement that each party to a common interest arrangement have an attorney also comports with the intent behind the common interest privilege, to permit attorneys to develop a joint legal strategy. . . . While this Court was not able to locate any Ninth Circuit precedent that explicitly requires both parties be represented by separate counsel, nor was there any precedent that extended the benefits of the common interest exception to the attorney client privilege when the disclosure at issue involved an unrepresented third-party employed by a separate entity."