Privileged Communications: Lance Armstrong Opposes Requests for Williams & Connolly LLP Documents

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In a False Claims Act lawsuit filed by former professional cyclist Floyd Landis, he recently made a motion requesting the production of communications between his former teammate Lance Armstrong, law firm Williams & Connolly LLP, and Capital Sports and Entertainment Holdings Inc. The lawsuit accuses Armstrong and others of violating a sponsorship agreement with the United States Postal Service by using performance-enhancing drugs. The agreement was worth $40 million.

Attorney-client privilege may be overcome by proof that the communications at issue were made in furtherance of a crime or fraud. Armstrong contends, in a statement made Tuesday to a District of Columbia federal judge, that Landis’ attempt to employ the exception is a “non-starter.” He argued that “by failing to [present any] evidence of an actual crime, identify a criminal statute violated or satisfy the elements of an actionable fraud, Landis waives this argument and provides the court sufficient reason, on this basis alone, to deny his motion.”

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