Sharon Nelles Co-Authors Bloomberg Law Article on Preserving Bank Examination Privilege in the Wake of Public Disclosures by the FCIC

July 2011
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Ms. Nelles co-authored an article titled, “Preserving the Bank Examination Privilege in the Wake of Public Disclosures by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission,” published in the July issue of Bloomberg Law Reports – Banking & Finance. The article examined the implications of the recent release by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC), a commission established by Congress to report on the causes of the financial crisis, of nearly 2,000 documents collected over the course of its inquiry. In the article, Ms. Nelles noted that the documents contain confidential bank supervisory information related to the nation’s system of bank regulation, information that is ordinarily shielded from disclosure by the bank examination privilege. The authors argued that the actions of the FCIC do not represent a waiver of that privilege, despite the fact that communication released by the FCIC has already been used in private litigation against at least one financial institution. The article urged such institutions to challenge similar attempts by other litigants just as they would any unauthorized release of privileged material.