Attorney/Client » Law Firm Invoices May Not Be Privileged

Law Firm Invoices May Not Be Privileged

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May 26, 2017

Among the takeaways from a California Supreme Court decision: Be careful what you put in your law firm bills. The court ruled that while invoices for pending and active cases are privileged, invoices for older cases may not be. The matter before the court involved a request by the ACLU to obtain billing records pertaining to efforts by the County of Los Angeles to defend against lawsuits brought by prison inmates who had suffered violence. The county argued their billing records were privileged in part because they could provide information about legal strategy. “This opinion represents a unique approach to resolving questions of attorney-client privilege, and it could have far-reaching implications,” says a client alert from Holland & Knight. Privilege of information included in bills, the attorneys write, is now “an open question” and as such “billing narratives should continue to reflect tasks, but lawyers should be circumspect about including actual legal advice or sensitive information.”

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