"Ninth Circuit Holds That a Party Waives the Attorney-Client Privilege by Voluntarily Disclosing Privileged Documents to Federal Government"

On April 17, 2012, the Ninth Circuit, in Pacific Pictures Corp. v. D.C. Comics, Case No. 11-71844, rejected the theory of selective waiver of the attorney-client privilege initially accepted by the Eighth Circuit in 1978, but rejected by every other circuit to consider the issue since. 

This Stroock Special Bulletin examines the Ninth Circuit's decision, in which the court held that an attorney waived the attorney-client privilege when he voluntarily complied with a grand jury subpoena issued by the U.S. Attorney's Office in connection with a criminal investigation and produced documents that were otherwise privileged.