The CT Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) provides an exemption from disclosure for "communications privileged by the attorney-client relationship." Conn. Gen. Stat. § 1-210(b)(10). The Connecticut Supreme Court, in Harrington v. Freedom of Information Commission (SC 19586), recently held that this exemption does not shield from disclosure all communications between a public agency and its attorneys.
While the court recognized that the attorney-client privilege would extend to those communications constituting legal advice only, it recognized that many communications between a public agency and its attorneys address nonlegal matters. In those cases, the fact that such communications were between an attorney and a client would not in and of itself bring them within the FOIA exemption. As to those communications covering both nonlegal and legal matters, the court rejected the notion that the test for exemption is whether the communication of both legal and nonlegal matters were "inextricably linked." Instead, the court adopted a "primary purpose" test, noting the broad consensus in other jurisdictions that "if the non-legal aspects of the consultation are integral to the legal assistance given and the legal assistance is the primary purpose of the consultation, both the client's communications and the lawyer's advice and assistance that reveals the substance of the communications will be afforded the protection of the privilege."
The court, using its newly articulated standard, remanded the matter before it to the Freedom of Information Commission for proceedings.
Associate Khiree T. Smith contributed to this alert.
Joy Harmon Sperling and Rachel Packer wrote an article, "No Such Thing As A Free House? NJ Court Says Otherwise," for Law360. The article examines a recent unpublished opinion rendered by the Superior Court of New Jersey, Bergen County in Anim Investment Co. v. Shaloub, No. F-30508-15, 2015 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 3042 (Ch. Div. June 30, 2016).
Day Pitney Advisory
Judith Blank and Kristin Burgess authored the article, "Anti-discrimination rules for contractors expanded," for the Fairfield County Business Journal. The article discusses best practices for the recent changes in the state's nondiscrimination, affirmative action and supplier diversity program, and how statutes will be extended to municipalities and quasi-public agencies pursuant to recent legislation starting on October first.
Day Pitney Press Release
Hartford, Conn., May 26, 2016 - Day Pitney LLP represented the State of Connecticut as lead bond counsel and disclosure counsel in a general obligation refunding bond sale of $501.4 million. The sale resulted in saving of $75.5 million in debt service costs over the life of the refinanced bonds. The Nappier administration has an active debt refunding program which has saved taxpayers $1.1 billion to date.
Hartford, CT, March 23, 2016 - Day Pitney LLP represented the State of Connecticut as disclosure counsel in a general obligation bond sale of $550 million.
Day Pitney was mentioned in an article, “Green Bonds Feature in Coming Connecticut GO Sale,” in The Bond Buyer. The firm was mentioned as lead bond counsel and lead disclosure counsel for the State of Connecticut’s sale of $650 million general obligation bond sale that includes a $65 million green-bond series. Day Pitney partners Namita Tripathi Shah, Judith Blank and Douglas Gillette are advising on the transaction, along with counsel Glenn Rybacki
Stamford, Conn., August 24, 2015 - Day Pitney is pleased to announce that 68 attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 2016 Best Lawyers in America. Best Lawyers ranks lawyers through peer-review surveys, and has been published annually since 1983.