Common-Interest Doctrine Law and Legal Definition

Common-interest doctrine is a legal principle granting a defendant the right to assert attorney client privilege. The common-interest doctrine helps to protect confidential communication made to a codefendant’s lawyer if the communication related to the defense of both the defendants. Common-interest doctrine is also known as joint-defense privilege.

The common-interest doctrine applies to any communication that satisfies the following elements:

1.it must be a communication;

2. it must be made between privileged persons;

3. it must be made in confidence;

4. it must be for the purpose of obtaining or providing legal assistance for a client.

Privileged persons was defined in Teleglobe Communs. Corp. v. BCE, Inc. (In re Teleglobe Communs. Corp.), 493 F.3d 345, 359 (3d Cir. Del. 2007), to include a client, attorneys, and any of their agents who help facilitate attorney-client communications or legal representation.