Bar News - October 20, 2006
Chief Justices Concerned about Attorney-Client Privilege Challenges
The following is an excerpt of a resolution adopted Aug. 2, 2006, by the Conference of Chief Justices regarding the US Department of Justice policy requiring waivers of attorney-client privilege for corporations facing criminal charges who are seeking cooperation consideration under federal sentencing guidelines.
“Whereas, the attorney-client privilege and work-product doctrine help maintain the confidential relationship between client and attorney which allows clients to discuss their legal problems fully with their counsel so as to promote compliance with the law and ensure effective advocacy; and
Whereas, in response to the national concern raised by the conduct of corporate officials during the unexpected failure in recent years of several large corporations, some law enforcement and regulatory authorities have adopted policies, practices and procedures that could have the effect of eroding the attorney-client privilege and work-product doctrine; and
Whereas, the Conference of Chief Justices has previously adopted a resolution in support of the preservation of the attorney-client privilege and work-product doctrine as essential to maintaining the confidential relationship between client and attorney thereby promoting the proper and efficient functioning of the American justice system…
Now, therefore be it resolved that the Conference endorses and supports the creation of state and local bar committees devoted to the preservation of the attorney-client privilege and work-product doctrine that are so vital to our legal system.