Attorney-Client Privilege and Work Product Doctrine Toolkit
Resources to help counsel navigate the attorney-client privilege and the work product doctrine.
The attorney-client privilege ( www.practicallaw.com/7-506-8557) protects confidential attorney-client communications that relate to legal advice from disclosure to third parties. The purpose of the attorney-client privilege is to promote full and frank communications between attorneys and their clients. The protections afforded by the attorney-client privilege are absolute. They cannot be overcome by an adversary's showing of substantial need. However, under certain circumstances, the privilege may be waived.
The work product doctrine ( www.practicallaw.com/1-501-8810) protects documents and tangible things prepared by a party or its representative in anticipation of litigation from disclosure to third parties. In some ways, the work product doctrine is broader than the attorney-client privilege because its protections are not limited solely to communications or confidential matters. However, the work product doctrine is also narrower than the attorney-client privilege because its protections extend only to documents and other tangible things that are prepared in anticipation of litigation. In addition, work product protection is not absolute. Certain kinds of work product may be obtained by an adversary's showing of substantial need. As with the attorney-client privilege, work product protection may also sometimes be waived.
This Toolkit contains numerous resources to help counsel navigate the attorney-client privilege and the work product doctrine.