Common Interest Protection Depends upon Participants Cooperating inside a “Common Legal Strategy”


The most popular interest doctrine can steer clear of the normal waiver implications of individually symbolized clients discussing fortunate communications. However the doctrine applies only in certain situations, and needs careful nurturing and support.

In Fresh Del Monte Produce, Corporation. v. Del Monte Foods, Corporation., No. 13 Civ. 8997 (JPO) (GWG), 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69593 (S.D.N.Y. May 28, 2015), Judge Gorenstein assessed a typical interest agreement between defendant trademark licensor and many licensees. Complaintant claimed the participants shared merely a common commercial as opposed to a legal interest, however the court thought it was unnecessary to deal with that issue. Rather, a legal court centered on the doctrine’s requirement that common interest participants cooperate in going after a typical legal strategy. After reviewing the withheld communications in camera, a legal court noted the licensees provided the licensor “factual information” the licensor searched for from their store – however that “[t]here’s no evidence the licensees had any hands in formulating some pot legal strategy or that they anytime decided to pursue a typical legal goal” using the licensor. Id. at *12.

Individually symbolized clients contemplating a typical interest agreement should recognize this prerequisite towards the doctrine’s applicability – after which make certain their correspondence reflects the formulation and quest for a typical legal strategy.


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