Does the Attorney-Client Privilege Protect a Company’s Internal Communications Suspending the Company’s Normal Document Retention Process?

August 31, 2005

With the increasing importance of preserving documents when litigation begins or looms, an obvious question presents itself: does the privilege protect companies’ widely circulated memoranda suspending the document retention system and ordering preservation of documents?

In Kirk v. Ford Motor Co., 116 P.3d 27, 34 (Idaho 2005), the Idaho Supreme Court protected from disclosure Ford’s Suspension Orders, finding that they “were both confidential and for the express purpose of disseminating legal advice from Ford’s OGC, to its client.”

Companies might want to tout their preservation efforts, but it is comforting to know that the privilege might protect a suspension order if the company wants to assert it.