Legal Question in Intellectual Property in District of Columbia


A and B are negotiating a contract, neither has an attorney nor has either had any prior legal advice that is relevant. At some point in the process, B retains an attorney. Later on, C has a dispute with B, and has valid reasons to inquire into the contract. Can B assert attorney-client privilege for discussions with or documents to and from A that took place before he retained counsel? As a related question, can C ask in discovery the name of the attorney B retained and the date on which he was retained, or is that information privileged? This question should be answered in the context of Federal Rules; any cites would be appreciated also (since I don't have access to Lexis/Nexis).

Asked on 6/04/07, 1:52 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Alan Wagner Wagner McLaughlin, P.A.

Re: Privilege

conversations with A would not be privledged. A is not an attorney and the communications were not for the purpose of seeking legal advice.

When a lawyer is retained is generally discoverable -- although sometimes the court does not allow it because it is not relevant. The name of the lawyer and the date of communication is not privledged -- only the communication itself.

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Answered on 6/04/07, 3:18 pm

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