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August 30, 2016 - Appellate Practice Group Prevails Before Connecticut Supreme Court In Dispute Over Test for Attorney-Client Privilege

For questions or more information, please contact Andrea Race.

Hartford, CT (August 30, 2016)…The Appellate Practice Group of Murtha Cullina LLP recently won a favorable decision from the Connecticut Supreme Court on whether the attorney-client privilege justified withholding from disclosure emails between the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority and attorney-lobbyists.

In Harrington v. FOIC, attorneys Michael Colgan Harrington and Jennifer A. Corvo successfully argued that the Freedom of Information Commission applied an overbroad attorney-client privilege standard in response to a request for documents made under the Freedom of Information Act. A trial judge had affirmed the FOIC’s decision. The Connecticut Supreme Court reversed both the trial court and the FOIC, using the case to explain how to apply the attorney-client privilege properly to communications that contain both legal and business advice.

Attorneys Harrington and Corvo successfully argued that the Connecticut Supreme Court should adopt a “primary purpose” test for applying the attorney-client privilege to communications that contain both legal and business advice.  Under the primary purpose test, when communications include both legal advice and business advice, the predominant or primary purpose of the communications must be for legal advice in order to receive the benefit of the privilege.  This is a significant decision for both practitioners and businesses because it explains the steps that should be taken to ensure that communications between a corporate entity and its attorney are protected by the attorney-client privilege.

Murtha Cullina’s Appellate Practice Group carefully studies procedural, philosophical, and policy developments in appellate court decisions to help shape innovative and effective appellate arguments. Our appellate lawyers have litigated numerous appeals in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, the First Circuit, the Second Circuit, and the U. S. Supreme Court.

For more information about the Appellate Practice Group, please contact

Proloy K. Das at 860-240-6076 or

or visit

About Murtha Cullina LLP

With more than 100 attorneys in six offices throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York, Murtha Cullina LLP offers a full range of legal services to meet the local, regional and national needs of our clients. Our practice encompasses litigation, regulatory and transactional representation of businesses, governmental units, non-profit organizations and individuals. Core practice areas include litigation, insurance recovery, labor and employment, bankruptcy and creditors’ rights, construction, energy, health care, trusts and estates, affordable housing, real estate, land use and retail and hospitality. 

Murtha Cullina is the exclusive member firm in Connecticut for Lex Mundi – the world’s leading network of independent law firms with in-depth experience in 100+ countries worldwide; and the exclusive Connecticut member firm of State Law Resources, an international network of independent law firms. For more information, visit

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