Supreme Court Grapples with Scope of Attorney-Client Privilege
Blank Rome partners Ana Tagvoryan, Arash Beral, Paul Tzur, and Shawna Henry represented the Atlantic Legal Foundation in the filing of an amicus brief with the Supreme Court of the United States that supports the broad protection for in-house attorney-client communications. On January 9, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court heard an oral argument on the issue. The Hill covered the argument in the below media coverage.
The scope of attorney-client privilege reached the Supreme Court on Monday as justices grappled with arguments on when communications intertwined with legal and business advice should be shielded from court proceedings.
The case’s background remains shrouded in mystery, but the justices’ ruling on how significant a legal purpose must be for attorney-client privilege to apply could have broader implications for in-house counsels and tax firms that send so-called dual purpose communications, which provide both legal advice and business strategy.
Public filings provide few details about the facts of the dispute, only indicating it arose from an unnamed tax law firm’s refusal to produce some documents in connection with a criminal tax investigation into an unnamed client. Other court filings remain under seal.
The federal government in court filings indicated the client was an “early promoter of bitcoin” who leveraged the firm to aid their expatriation from the U.S.
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"Supreme Court Grapples with Scope of Attorney-Client Privilege," by Zach Schonfeld was published in The Hill on January 9, 2023.