Im "Vorfeld" drohender US-Klagverfahren findet sich häufig in diverser schriftlicher Kommunikation der Begriff "Attorney-Client Privilege and Work Product" (oftmals auch entweder / oder). Worum handelt es sich hier? Am schnellsten hilft ein Blick in die nachfolgend zitierten relevanten US-Bundesbeweisregeln (Federal Rules of Evidence), dort ARTICLE V. PRIVILEGES. Ob im Einzelfall die anwaltliche Qualifizierung als "privileged" hilft, insbesondere die Bezeichnung allen vertraulichen Schriftverkehrs zwischen Anwalt und Mandant, kann im Vorhinein nicht verbindlich gesagt werden. Dennoch die Empfehlung: Stets sensiblen Schriftverkehr (spätestens wenn eine Klage aus den USA droht) überschreiben mit"Attorney-Client Privilege and Work Product", insbesondere Emails im Betreff dergestalt bezeichnen. Gegebenenfalls setzen Sie sich mit NIETZER & HÄUSLER für weitere Details in Verbindung oder schauen ab und an in die USA-Blogs www.gerichtsreporter.info oder www.usa-recht.de.
Rule 501. General Rule
Except as otherwise required by the Constitution of the United States or provided by Act of Congress or in rules prescribed by the Supreme Court pursuant to statutory authority, the privilege of a witness, person, government, State, or political subdivision thereof shall be governed by the principles of the common law as they may be interpreted by the courts of the United States in the light of reason and experience. However, in civil actions and proceedings, with respect to an element of a claim or defense as to which State law supplies the rule of decision, the privilege of a witness, person, government, State, or political subdivision thereof shall be determined in accordance with State law.
Rule 502. Attorney-Client Privilege and Work Product; Limitations on Waiver
(a) Scope of waiver.
In federal proceedings, the waiver by disclosure of an attorney-client privilege or work product protection extends to an undisclosed communication or information concerning the same subject matter only if that undisclosed communication or information ought in fairness to be considered with the disclosed communication or information.
(b) Inadvertent disclosure.
A disclosure of a communication or information covered by the attorney-client privilege or work product protection does not operate as a waiver in a state or federal proceeding if the disclosure is inadvertent and is made in connection with federal litigation or federal administrative proceedings ? and if the holder of the privilege or work product protection took reasonable precautions to prevent disclosure and took reasonably prompt measures, once the holder knew or should have known of the disclosure, to rectify the error, including (if applicable) following the procedures in Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(5)(B).
[( c ) Selective waiver.
In a federal or state proceeding, a disclosure of a communication or information covered by the attorney-client privilege or work product protection ? when made to a federal public office or agency in the exercise of its regulatory, investigative, or enforcement authority ? does not operate as a waiver of the privilege or protection in favor of non-governmental persons or entities. The effect of disclosure to a state or local government agency, with respect to non-governmental persons or entities, is governed by applicable state law. Nothing in this rule limits or expands the authority of a government agency to disclose communications or information to other government agencies or as otherwise authorized or required by law.]**
(d) Controlling effect of court orders.
A federal court order that the attorney-client privilege or work product protection is not waived as a result of disclosure in connection with the litigation pending before the court governs all persons or entities in all state or federal proceedings, whether or not they were parties to the matter before the court, if the order incorporates the agreement of the parties before the court.
(e) Controlling effect of party agreements.
An agreement on the effect of disclosure of a communication or information covered by the attorney-client privilege or work product protection is binding on the parties to the agreement, but not on other parties unless the agreement is incorporated into a court order.
(f) Included privilege and protection.
As used in this rule:
(1) "attorney-client privilege" means the protection provided for confidential attorney-client communications, under applicable law; and
(2) "work product protection" means the protection for materials prepared in anticipation of litigation or for trial, under applicable law.