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Teleglobe Communs. Corp. v. BCE, Inc. (In re Teleglobe Communs. Corp.)

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

January 8, 2007, Argued; July 17, 2007, Opinion Filed

No. 06-2915

Opinion

 [*351]  OPINION OF THE COURT

TABLE OF CONTENTS

I. Facts and Procedural History . . . . 8

A.  [**2]  The Parties and Underlying Causes of Action

B. The Privilege Dispute

II. Jurisdiction

III. Choice of Law

IV. Summary of the Law

A. The Attorney-Client Privilege

B. The Disclosure Rule

C. Privileged Information Sharing

1. The Co-Client (or Joint-Client) Privilege

2. The Community-of-Interest (or Common-Interest) Privilege

 [*352]  D. The Exception for Adverse Litigation

E. When Joint Representation Goes Awry: The Eureka Principle

F. Putting It All Together: Parents, Subsidiaries, and the Modern Corporate Counsel's Office

1. Intra-group Information Sharing: Parents and Subsidiaries as Joint Clients

2. Keeping Control of the Privilege

3. When Conflicts Arise

V. Issues on Appeal

A. Whether the Debtors Are Entitled to Documents Generated in the Course of a BCE/Teleglobe Joint Representation

1. Whether BCE's Concession in the Bankruptcy Court Prevents it from Arguing that the Debtors are not Entitled to the Disputed Documents

a. Background

b. Merits

I. Issue Waiver

ii. Judicial Admission  [**3] 

iii. Judicial Estoppel

iv. Implied Prospective Waiver of the Privilege

2. Whether the Community-of-Interest Privilege Entitles the Debtors to the Documents as a Matter of Law

3. Whether Teleglobe's Waiver of the Privilege for the Debtors' Benefit in the Canadian Insolvency Proceedings Entitles them to the Documents

4. Conclusion and Remand

B. The Effect of Funneling Documents Through BCE's In-House Counsel

VI. Potential Alternate Sustaining Grounds

A. The Fiduciary Exception to the Attorney-Client Privilege

B. Affirming as a Discovery Sanction

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493 F.3d 345 *; 2007 U.S. App. LEXIS 16942 **

IN RE: TELEGLOBE COMMUNICATIONS CORPORATION, et al, Debtor; TELEGLOBE USA INC.; OPTEL COMMUNICATIONS INC.; TELEGLOBE HOLDINGS (U.S.) CORPORATION; TELEGLOBE MARINE (U.S.) INC.; TELEGLOBE HOLDING CORP.; TELEGLOBE TELECOM CORPORATION; TELEGLOBE INVESTMENT CORP.; TELEGLOBE SUBMARINE, Teleglobe Submarine Inc.; OFFICIAL COMMITTEE OF UNSECURED CREDITORS OF TELEGLOBE COMMUNICATIONS CORPORATION; TELEGLOBE COMMUNICATIONS CORPORATION; TELEGLOBE LUXEMBOURG, LLC; TELEGLOBE PUERTO RICO INC. v. BCE INC.; MICHAEL T. BOYCHUK; MARC A. BOUCHARD; SERGE FORTIN; TERENCE J. JARMAN; STEWART VERGE; JEAN C. MONTY; RICHARD J. CURRIE; THOMAS KIERANS; STEPHEN P. SKINNER; H. ARNOLD STEINBERG, Appellants; VARTEC TELECOM, INC., Defendants/Intervenor in District Court

Subsequent History: Findings of fact/conclusions of law at, On remand at Teleglobe USA, Inc. v. BCE, Inc. (In re Teleglobe Communs. Corp.), 2008 Bankr. LEXIS 2129 (Bankr. D. Del., Aug. 7, 2008)

Prior History:  [**1] Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Delaware. (D.C. Civil Action No. 04-cv-01266). Chief District Judge: Honorable Sue L. Robinson.

Teleglobe Communs. Corp. v. BCE, Inc. (In re Teleglobe Communs. Corp.), 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48367 (D. Del., June 2, 2006)

CORE TERMS

documents, subsidiary, joint representation, in-house, communications, co-client, courts, common interest, district court, special master, parties, attorney-client, jointly, waive, privileged, community-of-interest, disclosure, insolvent, LAWYERS, fiduciary, advice, entity, cases, matters, wholly owned subsidiary, fiduciary duty, sharing, legal interest, community of interest, privilege log

Civil Procedure, Appeals, Appellate Jurisdiction, Collateral Order Doctrine, Preliminary Considerations, Federal & State Interrelationships, Erie Doctrine, Choice of Law, General Overview, Evidence, Privileges, Attorney-Client Privilege, Scope, Elements, Waiver, Legal Ethics, Client Relations, Conflicts of Interest, Reviewability of Lower Court Decisions, Preservation for Review, Methods of Discovery, Requests for Admissions, Effect of Admissions, Preclusion of Judgments, Estoppel, Judicial Estoppel, Business & Corporate Law, Shareholder Actions, Actions Against Corporations, Torts, Intentional Torts, Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Corporations, Dissolution & Receivership, Discovery & Disclosure, Disclosure, Sanctions