Did you hear the one about the general counsel who used his company computer for personal use, was fired, sued for employment discrimination and wrongful termination and engaged in a legal fight with his former employer over who had the right to his personal files?
As Forbes reports, Ian Miller, a former GC for Zara USA, a clothing retailer, created personal files related to suing the company on his work laptop and later claimed that they were subject to attorney-client privilege.
Per Forbes, while the appellate court applied the four-factor test in In re Asia Global Crossing, Ltd. and found that Miller could not expect the “reasonable assurance of confidentiality that is foundational to attorney-client privilege,” it did find that the ex-GC’s use of the company computer for personal purposes didn’t mean he automatically waived work-product protection.
The appellate court then sent the case back to the trial court for work-product review. Meanwhile, Miller’s laptop sits securely in storage, as agreed upon by Miller and Zara.