The chief legal officer of Fox Corp. since 2018 didn’t become licensed in California until this summer, a delay one law professor described as a “big screw-up” that might expose his communications with fellow Fox executives to public disclosure in the multibillion-dollar defamation litigation brought by two voting companies.

Viet Dinh, who is based in Los Angeles and regularly ranks near the top of ALM’s annual highest-paid legal chief list, is widely viewed as the top deputy to Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch. The website Semafor, recently launched by former New York Times media writer Ben Smith, highlighted the licensing delay in an article over the weekend.