Thomas E. Spahn

Partner

McGuireWoods LLP

Thomas Spahn is a partner with McGuireWoods and practices as a commercial litigator. He regularly advises Fortune 500 companies on high-stake issues. Spahn also advises in-house counsel on ethics issues including conflicts of interest and confidentiality.

Recently by Thomas E. Spahn

Privilege

Delaware Court Addresses the Privilege Implications of an Evenly Split Corporate Board’s Feud

Not surprisingly, Delaware state courts frequently address privilege issues triggered by corporate board disputes. Those often guide other states' courts' analyses of similar scenarios.

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Privilege

The Oddly Named "Fiduciary Exception" and Its "Exceptions"

Under old English trust law, courts gave trust beneficiaries access to otherwise privileged communications between the trust fiduciary and its lawyer advising him or her on trust administration matters.

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Privilege

What Is the Standard for Courts’ In Camera Review of Withheld Documents?

Work product protection focuses mostly on context, but withheld documents' content might also be pertinent. So in many if not most cases, a judge or her designee must read the withheld documents' content. What is the standard for such an in camera review?

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Privilege

Adversaries Normally Can Explore Background Facts About Communications Withheld as Privileged

Attorney-client privilege protection focuses on communications' content, but those communications' context can shed light on their primary purpose, possible inapplicability because of third parties' presence, etc. So adversaries ordinarily can ask such context questions.

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Privilege

Plaintiff Relying on a Former Lawyer’s Testimony Can’t Avoid a Privilege Waiver

Most courts hold that a litigant does not automatically waive privilege protection by listing a former lawyer as a witness – because that lawyer might testify about non-privileged facts. But not surprisingly, such a step can have disastrous results if the litigant and her current lawyer do not think ahead.

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