The Association of Corporate Counsel is concerned with what it claims will be a serious erosion of the attorney-client privilege in Pennsylvania if a recent decision in Paterno v. NCAA is allowed to stand.

The ACC filed an amicus brief in the case to the state Superior Court supporting Penn State's challenge to a ruling that ordered the school to turn over documents related to the creation of the Freeh report. Both Penn State and the ACC outlined their challenge to the ruling in briefs filed with the Superior Court on April 10.

"ACC is deeply concerned about the precedent in this case for both ACC's local members and their clients in Pennsylvania, as well as its national and international membership and their clients doing business in the commonwealth," the ACC said in its brief, which was filed by Ballard Spahr attorney Burt M. Rublin. "If allowed to stand, the decision will significantly impair the ability of counsel—both in-house and outside attorneys—to investigate alleged employee wrongdoing, provide legal advice necessary to guide their clients' behavior, and promote compliance with the law."

The appeal is over an order Potter County Court of Common Pleas Judge John B. Leete issued in September regarding whether documents produced by Freeh Sporkin & Sullivan would be privileged.

Related Practice