In an opinion today the GM ignition switch MDL (prior coverage here), Judge Furman rejected the plaintiffs’ attempt to force GM and its lawyers at King & Spalding to produce, under the “crime-fraud” exception to attorney-client privilege, documents relating to King & Spalding’s advice on earlier ignition switch cases that were settled confidentially.

GM had earlier produced a substantial portion of the documents voluntarily (such as case evaluations sent to GM) but the plaintiffs sought additional documents – primarily internal King & Spalding correspondence.  Judge Furman concluded that the plaintiffs had failed to show, as required for the “crime-fraud” exception, that these internal communications were made with the intent to further a crime or fraud, as opposed to merely relating to an evaluation of the legal risks of the cases that were settled:
Continue Reading Judge Furman Allows GM to Withhold Attorney Documents in Ignition Switch MDL, Rejects “Crime-Fraud” Exception

In an opinion today, Judge Furman upheld GM’s decision to withhold, on privilege and work product grounds, interview notes underlying a publicly-released report prepared by GM’s attorneys at Jenner & Block regarding GM’s recall of around 800,000 vehicles that may have had defective ignition switches. The plaintiffs argued (among other things) that the interviews were not done for the “primary purpose” of  providing legal advice, but were instead conducted “to identify and correct the problems that resulted in the delayed recalls and to address a public relations fiasco by reassuring investors and the public that it takes safety seriously.”  Judge Furman disagreed:
Continue Reading Judge Furman Allows GM to Withhold Jenner & Block Interview Notes Underlying Public Report on Ignition Switch Issues