International law firm Dorsey & Whitney LLP announced today that Partners Eric Epstein, David Scheffel and Nick Vlietstra have published a new, American Bar Association (ABA) treatise on The Bank Examination Privilege: When Litigants Demand Confidential Regulatory Reports. This new treatise is the first book-length work to comprehensively explore the bank examination privilege, and will be an invaluable resource for those involved in litigation in the banking and financial services industries.

Mr. Epstein, the lead author of the treatise, and Mr. Scheffel are Partners in the Securities and Financial Services Litigation Group in Dorsey’s New York office. Mr. Vlietstra is a Partner in the Firm’s Finance and Restructuring Group in its Minneapolis office.

The bank examination privilege shields from discovery various documents and communications related to confidential regulatory examinations of banks and other financial institutions. In banking cases, litigants often dispute the application of this qualified privilege and seek to penetrate the confidential relationship between the examiner and the bank in order to access bank examination materials and the information that those materials might contain. Accordingly, the privilege can be a crucial issue in banking litigation as well as from a regulatory perspective.

“The bank examination privilege balances critical countervailing policies at the heart of effective banking regulation,” noted Mr. Epstein. “On one hand, full and candid communications between banks and bank regulators is important for the health of our banking system. We want to create an environment where confidentiality of those communications is protected. But claimants against banks want that information, too. The purpose of the bank examination privilege is to balance these concerns.”

The new treatise may be purchased from the ABA here.