• Protecting Confidences: Applicability of the Attorney-Client Privilege to Communications Made in Japan
  • June 11, 2014 | Authors: Miku H. Mehta; Robert H. Sloss
  • Law Firm: Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP - Menlo Park Office
  • The attorney-client privilege has been a part of Anglo-American jurisprudence for centuries. With the increased importance of globalization and the prevalence of cross-border transactions of all kinds, the availability of the privilege to protect the confidentiality of sensitive communications between clients and their lawyers has become uncertain because of varying approaches to the privilege in different jurisdictions. At the same time, issues regarding the applicability of the attorney-client privilege have gained importance as a result of the explosion of patent lawsuits in the U.S., including a growing number of lawsuits against non-U.S. companies. This article focuses on the issue with respect to one particular jurisdiction: the applicability of the attorney-client privilege to communications between a Japanese bengoshi or benrishi and his client in connection with U.S. patent litigation.