Allied Litigant Doctrine in Texas

Lawyers and courts often make reference to the “joint defense privilege,” “common interest rule,” and other similar variations.  These references are to the rule of evidence that, in certain instances, allows parties and their lawyers to assert an attorney client privilege for communications with other parties and lawyers that share a similar, common interest in litigation.  On June 29, 2012, the Texas Supreme Court issued an opinion in In re XL Specialty Ins. Co., 373 S.W.3d 46 (Tex. 2012) that discusses the extension of the privilege and articulates a more precise term as being the “allied litigant doctrine.”  The case provides some guidance as to whether a Texas state court applying Texas Rules of Evidence might determine communications fall or not within the allied litigant doctrine.  The opinion can be read here.