9th Circ. Stirs Up Privilege Doubts With ERISA Ruling

Law360, New York (September 21, 2012, 7:11 PM EDT) -- Breaking from the Third Circuit, the Ninth Circuit held recently that the attorney-client privilege doesn't apply to communications between an insurer acting as an Employee Retirement Income Security Act fiduciary and its counsel before a claims decision is made, creating uncertainty about how the other federal appeals courts will proceed on the issue.

The Ninth Circuit issued the precedential decision after mulling a dispute between Unum Life Insurance Co. of America and Mark Stephan, who was permanently disabled in a bicycling accident, over whether Stephan's considerable...
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