When a party to a lawsuit receives a discovery request, the receiving party usually responds by (1) producing the requested material, (2) objecting to the discovery request based on some legal or factual grounds, or (3) asserting that the material is privileged and producing a privilege log to the requesting party. Regardless of which of these actions the responding party takes, the requesting party is then aware of the existence (or nonexistence) of responsive materials. However, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure (TRCP) 193.3(c) allows for a responding party to remain completely silent about the existence of attorney communication made in anticipation of litigation. When utilized correctly, TRCP 193.3(c) is a powerful weapon behind which important-but-damaging information can be completely protected from the opposing party's prying eyes.
The Georgia Supreme Court is poised to review a case that could substantially affect the attorney-client privilege and the relationship a firm has with its in-house counsel. The essential issue of the case is "whether communications between lawyers and in-house counsel are protected by the attorney-client privilege and the work product doctrine when a dispute arises between the firm and a client."