Alyssa K. Andrews, Esq.
On September 1, 2016, the Ninth Circuit held that where both federal and state law claims are at issue, the federal law of privilege applies to mediation negotiations. In re: TFT-LCD (Flat Panel) Antitrust Litigation, Sony Electronics, Inc. et al. v. Hannstar Display Corporation, No. 14-15916.
The court held that because at the time the parties engaged in mediation their negotiations concerned (and the mediated settlement included) both federal and state law claims, the federal law of privilege applies. In re: TFT-LCD (Flat Panel) Antitrust Litigation cautions where a case involves both federal and state law claims, the federal privilege law applies to settlement communications. Because federal privilege law (Fed. R. Evid. 408) is more lenient on the use of settlement communications in litigation, attorneys should exercise discretion when engaging in settlement communications.
Read the full case HERE.