Question: Are attorney billing statements privileged California?

HIGHLIGHTS: The Supreme Court of California has held that California attorney-client privilege categorically protects attorney invoices for ongoing matters, but the degree of protection for concluded matters is substantially less certain. The court’s opinion in County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors v.

Are attorney billing statements privileged?

Entries that contain descriptions of legal services that disclose legal strategy, including the identification of particular matters assigned to legal counsel for review, or would reveal the specific contents of confidential communications between the attorney and the client are protected by the attorney-client …

Is billing information protected by attorney-client privilege?

In a much-anticipated ruling, the California Supreme Court held on December 29, 2016 that legal invoices are protected by the attorney-client privilege, and therefore, with some exceptions, need not be disclosed under the Public Records Act.

Are payments to attorneys privileged?

Generally, information regarding a client’s fees is not protected by the attorney/client privilege because payment of fees is not a confidential communication between the attorney and client, but an economic transaction, incidental to the relationship.

Are attorney fee agreements discoverable in California?

Cal. 2014) (“[T]he attorney-client privilege generally does not preclude disclosure of fee agreements.”). However, under California state law, a “written fee contract shall be deemed to be a confidential communication’ that is not subject to discovery.” Moriarty v.

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How does attorney-client privilege work?

Definition. Attorney-client privilege refers to a legal privilege that works to keep confidential communications between an attorney and his or her client secret. The privilege is asserted in the face of a legal demand for the communications, such as a discovery request or a demand that the lawyer testify under oath.

Is an invoice privileged?

This Act is part of the Uniform Evidence Law which applies in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Tasmania and Victoria. The privilege is so called in the Acts because it is the client’s privilege, not the lawyer’s, and only the client can claim or waive the privilege.

Are attorneys confidential?

The duty of confidentiality prevents lawyers from even informally discussing information related to their clients’ cases with others. They must keep private almost all information related to representation of the client, even if that information didn’t come from the client.

Are engagement letters privileged?

For their part, plaintiffs typically object to producing their engagement letters on the view that they are protected by the attorney-client privilege and attorney work product doctrine. … Aside from being privileged, engagement letters are generally not relevant under Rule 26.

Are attorney invoices privileged New York?

Subject to waiver and specified exceptions, confidential communications between an attorney and a client “in the course of professional employment” are privileged from discovery or disclosure.

Is attorney retainer agreement confidential?

Retainer agreements are not privileged, however, unless they reveal a confidential communication of legal advice — the identity of the client, the fee arrangement, and the fact of retention are not privileged because they only involve the incidents of representation. … Legal Research Center, Inc.

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Is client identity privileged?

As a general proposition, a client’s identity is not protected by the attorney-client privilege and is therefore subject to subpoena. However, in cases where the disclosure of the client’s identity necessarily discloses the substance of the legal advice provided to the client by the attorney, the privilege may apply.

Are fee agreements privileged California?

The terms of a fee agreement may be protected. In California, they are protected by statute. Business & Professions Code § § 6149 and 6068.

Are retainers discoverable?

Courts tend to allow discovery of fee and retainer agreements between class counsel and named plaintiffs where the information contained therein is directly relevant to potential conflicts with absent class members. See, e.g., Mitchell-Tracey v. United Gen. Title Ins.

Are contingency fees privileged?

The appellate court first concluded that contingency fee agreements on their face are protected by the attorney-client privilege under Business and Professions Code section 6149.