Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Third Circuit Rules - OK for Corporate Counsel to Testify Against CEO

In a closely watched case (see here), the Third Circuit was asked to consider whether corporate counsel had in fact represented an individual within the corporation and as such the attorney-client privilege should apply. Defendant had argued that the Bevill standard should not "apply here, as here, both the individual and the corporation have an express attorney-client relationship with counsel." Reply Brief of Ian P. Norris - Download 2011-02-25 Norris Reply Brief

The Third Circuit issued an unpublished opinion that resolves this issue in a paragraph, stating in part that:

 "[t]he District Court in this case held an evidentiary hearing and ultimately determined that Norris failed to meet his burden in asserting his privilege pursuant to the five-factor test set forth in In the Matter of Bevill, Bresler & Schulman Asset Management Corp., 805 F.2d 120, 123 (3rd 1986).  The District Court did not legally err in applying this test, and we see no clear error in the District Court's holding based on the facts elicited in the evidentiary hearing."  

To all the corporate executives that are cooperating with corporate counsel thinking that the individual is representing them - beware....

Opinion- Download Opinion

(esp)

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/whitecollarcrime_blog/2011/03/third-circuit-rules-beware-corporate-counsel-does-not-represent-you.html

Defense Counsel, Judicial Opinions, Obstruction, Privileges | Permalink

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