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Privilege Cases Summarized By Accident Attorney

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Summarizes Privilege Cases

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This page within Virginia Tort Case Law is a compilation of cases reported by the Virginia Supreme Court and summarized by Brien Roche dealing with the topic of Privilege. For more information about privilege see the pages on Wikipedia. 


Va. Code § 8.01-398 as to marital privilege applying to private communications made during marriage.

Va. Code § 8.01-399 as to privileged communications between physician and patient.

Va. Code § 8.01-400 as to privileges applying to ministers of religion.

See Va. Code § 8.01-400.2 as to communications with counselors, social workers and psychologists being privileged in certain instances.


2010—Walton v. Mid-Atlantic Spine Specialists, 280 Va. 113, 694 S.E.2d 545.
Inadvertent production of letter written by defendant doctor to attorney waived privilege where inadequate measures had been taken to insure and maintain confidentiality of the letter.
NOTE: See Virginia Code Section 8.01-420.7 for limitation on waiver as to attorney/client privilege and Work Product Doctrine.

2007 Banks v. Mario Indus., 274 Va. 438, 650 S.E.2d 687.
Employee prepared attorney/client communication on work computer. Employee handbook indicated that employee could not expect privacy in regards to items prepared on the employer’s computer. The employer was subsequently able to retrieve this document from the computer system. Any privilege has been waived.

2002 Jones v. Ford Motor Co., 263 Va. 237, 559 S.E.2d 592.
Conversation between Ford Motor expert with one of Ford’s attorneys regarding attorney’s impression on appropriate use of resources in defending products liability case was protected by work product doctrine and attorney client privilege and was, thus, properly excluded.

1997 Archambault v. Roller, 254 Va. 210, 491 S.E.2d 729.
Attending physician who had not been joined as defendant in this malpractice action was deposed. Prior to deposition she disclosed to her counsel information about the course of treatment. This was not a violation of Code § 8.01-399.

1992 Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corp. v. Watson, 243 Va. 128, 413 S.E.2d 630.
Attorney-client privilege not applicable to memo written to in-house counsel since this memo exposes fraud committed by this litigant in other litigation involving same issues herein.

1971 Seventh Dist. Comm. v. Gunter, 212 Va. 278, 183 S.E.2d 713.
Attorney-client privilege applies to communications between attorney and client which are legitimately within scope of lawful employment and does not extend to communications made in contemplation of crime or perpetration of fraud.

1943 Robertson v. Commonwealth, 181 Va. 520, 25 S.E.2d 352.
Witness cannot be compelled to divulge privileged matters which have been given to him in confidence.

§ 17.54


1981 Ortiz v. Barrett, 222 Va. 118, 278 S.E.2d 833.
>Local counsel did not ratify action of lead counsel in signing local counsel’s name to pleading by not having signature expunged. If local counsel had done this, client would be in worse position.

1951 Jacobsen v. Kim, 192 Va. 352, 64 S.E.2d 755.<
There can be no ratification or acquiescence without knowledge.

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Privilege Cases Summarized By Accident Attorney

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