In the News

Protecting Attorney Work Product in Auditor Documents

Litigation News (Fall 2010)

November 15, 2010

This article discusses a case denying the IRS access to documents that were in possession of a company's auditor. According to the article, “One of the disputed documents was prepared by Deloitte and summarized a meeting involving Dow’s counsel about the necessity of accounting for possible litigation in an ongoing audit.” Jeffrey J. Greenbaum, Chair of the Firm’s Class Action Defense Practice Group, was interviewed for the article and according to the article, “warns, however, that accountants can be aggressive in demanding attorney opinions on the likelihood of success in litigation, maintaining they cannot provide an opinion without such information. He notes that litigators ‘should be cautious when providing sensitive information to auditors’ to guard against waiver.” “While this opinion is a good first step, it isn’t clear how other jurisdictions might rule, and you still need to be protective of privilege,” says Greenbaum.