Post Process

Everything to do with E-discovery & ESI

New Law Strengthening Attorney Client Privilege Gains Traction in Congress

Posted by rjbiii on July 3, 2008

The American Lawyer online has posted an article explaining that attorney client privilege is the focus of new federal legislation:

The bill would make it illegal for federal prosecutors to order companies to turn over privileged documents as a condition of a cooperating agreement. That has been a popular tactic to get access to the juicy stuff, but it’s already happening less because of the disastrous KPMG tax shelter case, says William Sullivan, a Winston & Strawn partner and former federal prosecutor who spoke at a panel discussion during ALM’s Corporate Counsel Conference earlier this month [ALM is the parent company of The Am Law Daily and The American Lawyer].

In the KPMG case, a federal judge tossed out indictments against several individual defendants after learning that prosecutors banned KPMG from paying their legal fees — a condition the judge considered onerous.

The article mentions that some are surprised by the bill’s momentum in the post-Enron and Worldcom environment, but notes that a broad and unlikely coalition of organizations came together to express support. Supporters include the ACLU, the Association of Corporate Counsel, and 32 former federal prosecutors.

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