Essay about Governor Attorney-Client Privilege

1128 Words Nov 23rd, 2012 5 Pages
Governor-Attorney Client Privilege

I. The Office of the Governor should not invoke government attorney-client privilege to prevent testimony by a government lawyer when the lawyer is subpoenaed in a federal grand jury investigation for possible federal criminal violations. This decision is up to the courts in a case by case basis.
a. Attorney Client Privilege is subject to the common law by courts “in the light of reason and experience.” FRE 501.
i. FRE 501 can be relied on over FRE 503 at the discretion of the Court.
1. FRE 503(a)(1) only makes “broad propositions that a governmental body may be a client for purposes of the attorney-client privilege” (In Re Duces Tecum, 8th circuit, 916).
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5. An absolute privilege is argued for on the basis of the sovereignty of the 3 branches, but it would obstruct this tripartite system of government by establishing such sovereignty as absolute. It would then devolve the govt. to one where checks and balances become nonexistent.
d. "The impediment that an absolute, unqualified privilege would place in the way of the primary constitutional duty of the Judicial Branch to do justice in criminal prosecutions would plainly conflict with the function of the courts under Article III" (Nixon, 707).
i. "It enjoins upon its branches separateness but interdependence, autonomy but reciprocity" (Id).
b. There will be no “chilling effect” as a consequence of certain circumstances overriding the attorney-client privilege
iii. Govt. attorney client privilege is respected and any attempts to curb it will follow only after it is deemed necessary to advance justice. Therefore, any fears that this will lead to precedents where the courts will freely "choose" to override such a privilege is unwarranted.
6. Interest in confidentiality of communication is not discouraged by the disclosure of a relatively small number of communications shown to be relevant to a criminal case. (In Re Duces Tecum, 919).
iv. Even the…

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