Federal prosecutors in a criminal stock options backdating case in Los Angeles argued in a recent brief before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that William Ruehle, former chief financial officer of Broadcom Corp., knew that statements he made to his attorneys at Irell & Manella in 2006 were not confidential, and therefore were not protected under the attorney-client privilege.

In a brief filed on July 30, the prosecutors added that a district court judge relied on the wrong standard in determining whether the privilege applied, and that what the lower court deemed “ethical misconduct” by Irell & Manella violated rules of professional conduct but did not automatically render Ruehle’s statements confidential.

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