A recent district court case from the Eastern District of Virginia assessing the application of the work product doctrine to internal investigations has set corporate legal departments atwitter, because of the court’s rejection of the doctrine in a set of circumstances familiar to legal departments and their counsel—an internal investigation of alleged corporate wrongdoing that carried with it the threat of significant shareholder litigation.

The decision, In re Capital One Consumer Data Security Breach Litigation, 2020 WL 3470261 (E.D. Va. June 25, 2020) (hereinafter Capital One), provides valuable lessons on how best to assure application of the doctrine.

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