Judge said Uber abused attorney-client privilege

San Francisco district Judge William Alsup criticized Uber’s practice of including lawyers in discussions strategically — using the lawyer’s presence to claim that discussions were privileged if Uber wants to keep the content confidential, but claiming that the attorney did not attend in the capacity of an attorney if that advances Uber’s interests. Alsup explains:

Uber has indulged in the slick practice of including its lawyers in meetings and communications and deciding after the fact if a lawyer was actually included for the purpose of providing legal advice, all in accordance with what happens to be convenient for Uber’s case. Where, as here, the contents of a meeting prove advantageous for Uber to reveal, it readily claims that the lawyer did not attend the meeting in their capacity as a lawyer. But where the contents of a meeting would hurt Uber’s litigation position, Uber is quick to conceal the facts under claims of privilege.

Alsup concluded that he will not “indulge this pattern of convenience.”

Full order from Judge William Alsup and full order from Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley. Waymo v. Uber litigation docket.