A federal appeals panel on Tuesday invited outside parties to weigh in regarding whether William Ruehle, the former chief financial officer of Broadcom Corp., should have assumed that statements he made to company lawyers during an internal investigation into stock options backdating were protected by the attorney-client privilege.

During oral arguments in the 9th Circuit’s courthouse in Pasadena, Calif., a three-judge panel concluded that the issue was important enough to warrant additional input from parties including the American Bar Association.

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