Arkansas Supreme Court Approves Amendments to Evidence Rule 502 and Civil Procedure Rule 26(b)(5) to Address Inadvertent Disclosure of Privileged Information or Work Product

On January 10, 2008, the Arkansas Supreme Court accepted the Committee on Civil Practice’s proposals for changes in the Arkansas Rules of Civil Procedure and Rules of Evidence to address the inadvertent disclosure of information protected by the attorney-client privilege, or any other evidentiary privilege, or the work product doctrine.  The amendments go into effect immediately.

The Reporter’s Notes explain the rationale behind the amendments:

Lawyers do their best to avoid mistakes, but they sometimes happen.  Discovery has always posed the risk of the inadvertent production of privileged or protected material.  The advent of electronic discovery has only increased the risk of inadvertent disclosures.  This amendment addresses this risk by creating a procedure to evaluate and address inadvertent disclosures, including disputed ones.

Click to view the Arkansas Supreme Court Order approving the amendments, which sets out the full text of the amendments and the accompanying Reporter’s Notes.

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