MPR: Manafort, Flynn, and the Travel Ban

We see privilege issues discussed in judicial decisions, legal commentary, and mainstream news.  Here is my Monthly Privilege Roundup of interesting privilege issues for November 2017.

→The DC federal court ordered a former lawyer for Paul Manafort and Richard Gates, both indicted by Special Counsel Mueller, to testify before a federal grand jury.  The court found that the crime–fraud exception to the attorney–client privilege applied.  You may read the opinion here, and an excellent article about the issue from Law360’s Andrew Strickler here.

→According to a New York Times report, former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s lawyers have withdrawn from a common–interest agreement with President Trump’s lawyers.  Under the agreement, Flynn’s lawyers shared information with President Trump’s attorneys regarding the Special Counsel’s investigation.  No more, apparently.  Read the story here.

→Interesting Privilege Twist.  A Topeka businessman facing criminal charges for bankruptcy fraud plans to call his bankruptcy attorney as an expert witness.  The judge allowed it, saying that there is no conflict of interest and that the privilege belongs to the businessman, and he can waive it if he wants.  Story here.

→The University of New Mexico allowed the attorney for Paul Krebs, former University of New Mexico Athletic Director who resigned after many questioned his using public funds for a Scotland trip, to review emails for privilege before producing them to the Albuquerque Journal under a public-records request.  Is there anything wrong with that?  Story here.

→The Utah Attorney General is battling an order to produce a legal opinion regarding rules for the recent election of U.S. Representative John Curtis.  While the battle continues, Governor Herbert is considering waiving the attorney–client privilege and disclosing the opinion.  If that happens, should be an interesting read. Story from The Salt Lake Tribune available here.

→The Department of Homeland Security is withholding an Inspector General’s report over the implementation of President Trump’s initial, so-called “travel ban” in January 2017.  The Department is reviewing the report to redact information protected by the deliberative-process privilege and the attorney–client privilege. Story from Politico here.

→The Shelbyville (TN) City Council recently met in closed-door sessions with the city manager and local law-enforcement officers regarding an upcoming rally by white nationalists.  The City claims that the attorney–client privilege protects these executive sessions, but others disagree.  Interesting story bubbling on this one, and you may read about it here.

→The U.S. Justice Department is refusing to produce a document outlining legal justifications for President Trump’s decision to reduce the size of some national monuments covering millions of acres.  This battle is not over.  Read the story here.