NY Court of Appeals Affirms Ruling on Privilege In Tyco Exec Case

OCT 16, 2008 – ACC filed an amicus brief in NY v. Kozlowski and Schwartz, opposing an attempt by former Tyco executives to obtain attorney work product by overturning the lower court ruling which denied their request for protected witness interview notes and memoranda, all of which were generated by outside counsel in a corporate internal investigation. Judge Ciparick of the Court of Appeals affirmed the earlier ruling, effectively sustaining protections corporations have had to prevent disclosure of privileged material – precisely what the ACC sought in its brief. The ACC had opposed the executives’ arguments, stating the appeal was  “a direct challenge to the ability of a corporation to control its right to assert or waive the protections.”

Judge Ciparick, in her decision writes, “[c]ertainly, it is possible for attorneys to assist prosecutors without divulging their trial preparation materials. Absent some other proof, we conclude that Supreme Court properly held that defendants had not established any disclosure of … work product to the People.”

Co-authoring the ACC brief were Stephen Gillers, Emily Kempin Professor of Law at New York University School of Law and a leading academician on professional regulation and legal and judicial ethics, and attorneys from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP.

For more on Privilege Protection and ACC’s continuing efforts check Focus Documents and News on ACC’s Advocacy page at: