June 22, 2008
Former US Attorneys Push for Passage of Attorney-Client Privilege Legislation
A letter signed by 33 former United States Attorneys was sent to Senator Leahy, chair of the Judiciary Committee, asking that he support S. 186, the Attorney-Client Privilege Protection Act. The letter states that "[t]his bill is crucial to stemming the Department of Justice’s widespread practices and policies that pressure businesses to waive the attorney-client privilege in return for avoiding a harsher charging decision." It further states:
"The attorney-client privilege, the oldest of the evidentiary privileges, is a cornerstone of our justice system. The Department of Justice must end the practice of demanding that an organization place its employees in legal jeopardy in return for leniency. The time has come to pass legislation that protects the existing rights of individual employees and business organizations. As Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, you are in the position to ensure this legislation is given proper consideration. The Department of Justice has failed to make necessary changes. Therefore, we respectfully ask you to support S. 186, the Attorney Client Privilege Protection Act of 2007, and take appropriate action to bring it to the floor of the Senate."
Addendum - See WSJ Blog here.
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It is arbitrary & capricious for "former" US Attorney's to seek a blanket push for protectionism in favor of silencing of evidence.
One could quite possibly argue it is out right betrayal of their former oath of office.
The issue at hand is not that prosecuting bodies defy "attorney client privilige", only that they pressure for a waiver of the privilege for the benefit of mitigation.
Prosecutors simply state, show us documentation that there is nothing worse going on, as your actions seem to imply there is, and we will relent upon any further pursuits.
Secrets, when legal violations are the question, only serves perpetrators of deceit. To seek to make the playground more beneficial for deceptive parties is absurd.
As our saga documents, there is enough protectionism for mendacious ways of nefarious parties already.
Posted by: Laser Haas | Jun 23, 2008 1:15:52 AM