Work product generated from a public relations agency may or may not be protected under attorney-client privilege.  Recently, a judge in New York (United States District Court for the Southern District of New York) ordered documents given to Calvin Klein's (CK) PR firm by CK's lawyers that contained information related to a lawsuit with a licensee.

The PR firm was retained to manage the media and manage the message during the litigation to protect the CK label from negative publicity surrounding the trademark litigation.

Despite this ruling, there are steps you can take to make sure you are protected.  Steps such as:

  • Have your legal counsel retain the firm
  • Have communications from your PR counsel directed to your legal counsel
  • Label all communications “Attorney-Client Privileged”
  • Retain a media savvy lawyer to assist in the messaging in and out of court.

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