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Does the Attorney-Client Privilege Cover a Law Firm’s Consultation with In-House Counsel About Issues Involving Current Clients?

These last two decades have seen the dramatic rise of in-house counsel at large law firms. In 2002, Elizabeth Chambliss and David Wilkins reported that, by the late 1990s, every one of a sample of 32 large law firms had established at least a position of ethics or risk management specialist filled by an in-house lawyer, many having created that position recently. A 2008 survey of the AmLaw 200 fi rms by the Altman Weil consulting firm found that, by 2004, 63% of them had a designated in-house general counsel; by 2008, that figure had increased to 85%. A key function of such in-house counsel is to consult on conflicts and other ethical issues, many of which involve the firm’s current clientele...