American Bar Association Asks Supreme Court to Consider Attorney-Client Relationship When Grand Jury Subpoenas are Served on Lawyers
CHICAGO, April 20, 2011 — The American Bar Association today filed an amicus curiae brief with the Supreme Court of the United States in support of the petitioner’s request for a writ of certiorari in White & Case LLP v. U.S. The case involves a grand jury subpoena for client materials that was served on the law firm White & Case LLP, and whether the subpoena should trump a civil protective order issued in the underlying civil case. The ABA requests that certiorari be granted based on the importance of the issue to the attorney-client relationship and on the need for Supreme Court guidance because of a three-way split on the issue among the circuit courts.
The ABA believes that per se enforcement of subpoenas to lawyers for client materials merits review by the court, citing the potential to undermine the free flow of information essential to the attorney-client relationship. In addition, the ABA requests a uniform rule for the circuit courts, so that lawyers and their clients can expect consistency when subpoena enforcement issues arise.
A copy of the ABA brief is available here.
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