The Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. (NRDC), one of the world’s leading environmental advocacy organizations, has more than 700 employees who work in vastly different capacities. The organization identified a need to train its large team on how to distinguish confidential legal advice that needs to remain private from newsworthy material that can be shared with external stakeholders.
NRDC turned to the firm for help. Lowenstein first delivered a training to NRDC’s legal team, providing a refresher on privilege and waiver rules and offering advice on how to preserve privilege and protect NRDC from aggressive attempts by opposing counsel in litigation to access NRDC’s records and email. The presentation also helped attorneys understand how NRDC can maintain confidentiality even when its staff are working closely with outside law firms and supporters to advance shared goals.
Lowenstein then delivered a similar presentation to the nonlegal staff to help them understand the concepts of confidentiality, privilege, and waiver and how they are relevant to nonlawyers at NRDC, especially those who work in communications, legislation, and advocacy. The goal of this presentation was to help NRDC staff members recognize what is and is not privileged information, and how they can minimize institutional risk while still advancing NRDC’s goals.
Ultimately, these presentations guided NRDC staff to a better understanding of how to balance the protection of the privilege with the need to promote the organization’s good work to the world.