Given the conversation in posts below about interpreting statutes, this case is interesting for reasons beyond the issue involved. In Crimson Trace Corp. v. Davis Wright Tremaine LLP (Or. May 30, 2014), the court held that a law firm could claim privilege over communications between a lawyer who was concerned about litigating a patent case where one of the firm’s own lawyers was accused of inequitable conduct and the firm’s in-house lawyers.
The court noted that some courts had recognized a “fiduciary exception” to privilege, which basically bars a lawyer who owes a fiduciary duty to a client to assert privilege against it. However, the court noted that those courts that had recognized this exception were in common law jurisdictions, not ones, like Oregon, where the scope of privilege and its exceptions were set by the legislature. Given that the legislature had spoken on the subject, the Oregon court held that it was not free to make-up additional exceptions.
Of course, CLS bank will be just like it in that regard. ha, ha.