In June the lawyer representing plaintiffs suing General Motors over faulty ignition switches accused GM and its firm King & Spalding of working together to cover up the malfunction. Bob Hilliard said that certain communication between GM and King & Spalding from 2010 to 2013, mainly focused on three Chevrolet Cobalt crashes, would reveal that they conspired in "burying what they knew" concerning the defect, and furthermore that the law firm broke rules of professional conduct once it found out about "ongoing fraudulent concealment" at GM.

Hilliard filed a motion in a Manhattan court to force GM and King to hand over the memos, which were protected by attorney-client privilege. Hilliard said that the alleged ongoing fraud should trump attorney-client privilege, a GM spokesman said at the time that the issues in question had already been discussed previously, and that plantiffs already had much of the communication Hilliard's motion sought.

US District Judge Jesse Furman ruled in favor of GM and King, refusing to order the release of the communication. In spite of finding probable cause that GM was engaging in a crime or fraud by not revealing the ignition switch defect, Furman did not find cause to believe that GM and King's discussions at the time were centered around continuing that potential crime or fraud. Saying also that plantiffs already had many of the disputed documents, attorney-client privilege should hold sway over the remainder. The class action case goes to trial in January 2016.


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