If the executive director of The Coca-Cola Bottlers’ Association in Atlanta offers legal advice to Coke bottlers, he will run afoul of Georgia’s professional ethics standards, according to University of Georgia School of Law professor C. Ronald Ellington.
But professors at three other Georgia law schools — Georgia State University College of Law, Emory University School of Law and the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University — disagree with Ellington’s assessment, which he offered on behalf of The Coca-Cola Co. Those professors — at the request of the bottlers’ association — have filed declarations opining that Coke executives, in a series of written documents, may have waived their attorney-client privilege that otherwise would have barred Coca-Cola North America’s former general counsel, W. Thomas Haynes, from giving legal advice to the association now that he is its executive director.
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