Thursday, October 24, 2013
An e-mail from Kean University's head basketball coach to the University's general counsel is protected by the attorney-client privilege, according to a decision issued today by the New Jersey Appellate Division.
The plaintiff in the litigation is the former athletic director, who was terminated "supposedly for failure to properly supervise subordinates in the athletic program, which led to the University being sanctioned" by the NCAA.
He sued for wrongful termination.
The e-mail had been in connection with a fundraising letter to defray costs of a team summer trip to Spain.
The court majority noted that the trial court found the e-mail to be privileged but found waiver. The court here agreed on privilege and reversed on the waiver issue.
The coach had provided the e-mail to the NCAA. The court concluded that the University, not the coach, had authority to waive the privilege.
A dissent concludes that the e-mail was not sent for the purpose of securing legal advice and thus was not privileged.
NJ.com reported on the NCAA actions. (Mike Frisch)