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Unpublished Paper
Combining Forces: The Joint Defense Agreement in Civil Litigation
  • Stephen Messer, University of Florida

From day one of law school aspiring lawyers are taught that information shared in confidence between a lawyer and his client is confidential. Although all lawyers are well aware of this, surprisingly few know that conversations with a client and someone else's lawyer can also be privileged. This is what happens when a joint defense agreement is created; Joint defense agreements extend the attorney client privilege throughout the entire defense camp in cases where multiple defendants and their counsel have common interests in the litigation. This often overlooked, yet highly effective legal strategy may serve as a valuable tool for defense litigation teams in all types of complex litigation scenarios. However, there are many ethical and practical considerations that the novice litigator may find difficult to navigate alone. This article explains the benefits and dangers of joint defense agreements and provides some helpful advice for any attorney who is considering entering one of these agreements.

  • Litigation Ethics
Publication Date
Citation Information
Stephen Messer. "Combining Forces: The Joint Defense Agreement in Civil Litigation" (2011)
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