Ordinarily, when a communication between an attorney and her client is disclosed to a third party, that communication loses its privileged status. The common interest privilege operates as an exception to that rule that allows the privilege to extend to communications with certain third parties. For the common interest doctrine to apply, the communication must be in furtherance of a legal interest that is shared by the client and the third party. Historically, New York courts additionally required that the communication relate to legal advice regarding pending or prospective litigation. On December 4, 2014, in a landmark decision, a New York appellate court did away with this additional requirement.
Barry S. Levin, a lawyer in Orrick's San Francisco office, is a member of the Litigation Group. His practice focuses on complex litigation with a special emphasis on insurance recovery matters.
Barry is known in the market as “one of the most accomplished litigators,” “very effective in pursuing compelling themes and tearing down witnesses with polite cross-examination” (2017 Benchmark Litigation), and as a "very bright, very savvy" coverage lawyer (2013 Chambers USA Guide to America's Leading Lawyers for Business). Barry has also been commended by his peers as a "fabulous lawyer" who is "very well regarded and really knows the area" (2016 Chambers USA Guide to America's Leading Lawyers for Business).
Barry has broad first chair experience in trial and arbitration, ranging from trial counsel for Johns-Manville Corporation in its coverage litigation involving asbestos-related bodily injury claims to successful domestic and international arbitrations on behalf of financial institutions, hospitals, and hospitality companies.
Over the past 8 years, Barry has developed extensive experience in issues arising out of the financial crisis, including a range of issues relating to mortgage backed securities and lending practices.
He is a frequent lecturer in the area of litigation, insurance coverage and law firm management. Prior to joining Orrick, Barry was a shareholder at Heller Ehrman LLP.