Communications With A Consultant, Even If Not Privileged, May Be Protected
One of the finest lines that environmental attorneys walk is in protecting communications between counsel and a retained environmental consultant from disclosure in litigation. In a recent case out of the Northern District of Indiana, Valley Forge Ins. Co. v. Hartford Iron & Metal, Inc., No. 1:14-cv-00006 (N.D. Ill. Apr. 14, 2017), the Court found that communications between counsel and consultants retained by the counsel were not protected by the attorney-client privilege, in large part because the consultants also performed remedial work. However, as the work was done "in anticipation of litigation" with, among others, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) and EPA, substantive communications were protected by the attorney work product doctrine.