Friday, September 8, 2006

Another Shot at the Thompson Memo

A group of former senior Department of Justice officials, including former Attorney Generals Griffin Bell and Dick Thornburgh, and former Solicitor Generals Ted Olson, Ken Starr, and Seth Waxman, sent another letter (available below) to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales asking that the Department revise the Thompson Memo "to state affirmatively that waiver of attorney-client privilege and work-product protections should not be a factor in determining whether an organization has cooperated with the government in an investigation."  The letter comes in advance of a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 12  on "The Thompson Memorandum’s Effect on the Right to Counsel in Corporate Investigations."  Virtually all of the former Department officials are now in private practice,  and many of their firms represent corporate clients.  Moreover, two signatories, Ted Olson and Seth Waxman, were in the Department when the Thompson Memo and its predecessor, the Holder Memo, were issued.   It would be interesting to learn whether they took the same position on this issue during their time in government. A Legal Times story (here) discusses the letter sent to A.G. Gonzales. (ph)

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