In an article titled "Court Rejects Attorney-Client Privilege in Employment Discrimination Case,’’ Thomas Wilkinson, a member of Cozen O’Connor’s Commercial Litigation Department, and Alexa Sebia, an associate in the Commercial Litigation Department, discuss a Pennsylvania federal judge’s rejection of a company’s claim to attorney-client privilege as an obstacle to pursuit of a sex discrimination suit brought by a lawyer and former employee. The court ruled that despite her legal background, the employee was hired as a risk management insurance professional and not as in-house counsel. While acting in a business capacity, the court held, no privilege applied to the employee’s communication. This case illustrates the sometimes blurry line between the roles of insurance claims handler and legal professional and gives cause for concern to companies that have attorneys leading their internal risk-management departments.
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