SACRAMENTO, Calif., June 6, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The California Lawyers Association (CLA) has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to resolve the test that applies to communications between attorneys and their clients involving both legal and non-legal purposes, known as dual purpose communications, and where such communications are protected by solicitor-client privilege. CLA supports adopting the test that best protects solicitor-client privilege.
In an amicus brief filed June 1CLA urges Supreme Court to grant certiorari to review Ninth Circuit decision, In re Grand Jury23 F.4th 1088 (9th Cir. 2022), which created a three-way division among the circuit courts on the issue of solicitor-client privilege and dual-use communications.
The Ninth Circuit held that a dual-use communication is only privileged when the most important goal is legal. This test requires courts to weigh and balance all the objectives of the communication. The decision conflicts with the DC Circuit, which concluded that a dual-use communication is privileged when it has an important legal objective. In the seventh circuit, a dual purpose communication is never privileged.
CLA argues that attorney-client privilege must be clearly defined so that attorneys know the limits of privilege and that clients know when they can communicate freely and candidly with their attorney to ensure they receive competent and informed legal advice. . CLA endorses DC circuit testing.
“CLA urges this Court to grant certiorari to protect this sacrosanct tenant of the legal profession and resolve the dispute in the circuit courts,” the amicus brief reads. “CLA has an interest in ensuring that there are uniform and clear rules as to whether a communication is privileged, particularly when those rules significantly affect a wide range of attorneys across many practice disciplines.”
Adria’s Price and Laura L. Buckley of CLA’s Tax Section wrote the brief, with technical and editorial assistance from H. Thomas Watson of the Amicus Committee of CLA.
“We appreciate the work of these dedicated volunteers who are helping bring attention to an issue of national importance for lawyers and their clients across the country,” said the ACC President. Jeremy M. Evans said.
“This amicus brief highlights CLA’s invaluable role in advocating for the interests of our members and the legal profession as a whole,” said CEO and Executive Director Oyango A. Snell.
Established in 2018, the CLA is the bar association for all attorneys in California. CLA’s mission is to promote excellence, diversity and inclusion in the legal profession as well as fairness in the administration of justice and the rule of law.
SOURCE California Bar Association