Thursday, August 18, 2005

Attorney-Client Issue Gaining More Support

As reported here, the ABA passed a resolution that "opposes the routine practice by government officials of seeking to obtain a waiver of the attorney-client privilege or work product doctrine through the granting or denial of any benefit or advantage." (emphasis added) 

The attorney-client issue is gaining momentum with the latest letters going to the Sentencing Commission.  The support for maintaining the attorney-client privilege in the corporate arena are coming from past Attorney Generals, a Solicitor General, and other former high level government officials.The signatories on one letter include names such as Griffin B. Bell, Theodore B. Olson, Kenneth W. Starr, Edwin Meese, III, and Dick Thornburgh.  The letter states in part: "[w]e believe that this new amendment is eroding and weakening the attorney-client and work product protections afforded by the American system of justice, and we urge the Commission to address and remedy this amendment as soon as possible."  The letter states:

We, the undersigned former Justice Department officials, are pleased that the Commission has included, on its list of tentative priorities for the upcoming amendment cycle, the recent amendment to the Commentary to the Organizational Guidelines involving waiver of attorney-client privilege and work product protection in the context of cooperation.

A copy of the letter is here -

Download attyclientprivissueformerdojofficialscommentlettertousscaug152005.pdf

Other support can be found in a coalition letter signed by groups such as the American Chemistry Council, ACLU, Association of Corporate Counsel,  Business Roundtable, NACDL, National Association of Manufacturers, Retail Industry Leaders Association, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Washington Legal Foundation.  This letter can be found here:

Download attyclientprivissuecoalitioncommentlettertousscaug152005.pdf

(esp)

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