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Some communications between insurance companies and counsel for insureds are now privileged in Ohio

Many employers today rely on employment practices liability insurance to cover potential employment claims and risks. As a result, insurance policies and companies that provide them hold an important place in many employment-related lawsuits, and rightfully so.

Historically, insurance companies, insureds and counsel have communicated carefully about potential claims, litigation strategies, and other confidential subjects because it was not clear whether the attorney-client privilege protected communication with the insurance companies.  Instead, the privilege arguably applied only to communications between the attorney and the insured/client.

In State ex rel. Dawson v. Bloom Carroll Local School District, however, the Supreme Court of Ohio recently held that certain communications among an insurance company, the insured, and counsel for the insured are protected by the attorney-client privilege.  While it remains to be seen whether this protection will be expanded to all communications among attorneys, clients, and insurance providers, this shift will undoubtedly change the way these parties communicate about insurance covered employment-related litigation.

Click here for more information on the Bloom-Carroll decision.