MPR: Comey’s Lawyer, a Rap Mogul, and a Trump Subpoena?

We see privilege issues discussed in judicial decisions, legal commentary, and mainstream news.  Here is my Monthly Privilege Roundup of interesting privilege issues for January 2018.

→Special Counsel Robert Mueller wants to interview President Trump as part of the Russia campaign-meddling investigation, and may even subpoena him.  If so, The Wall Street Journal, quoting yours truly, reports that Trump may rely on a D.C. Circuit opinion, In re Sealed Case, 129 F.3d 37 (D.C. Cir. 1997), to assert the presidential-communications privilege.  Story here (subscription required).

→Remember when Jim Comey provided confidential memoranda to his friend, Columbia Law Professor Daniel Richman, who in turn leaked the memos to the New York Times?  Now Richman claims to be Comey’s personal attorney, which may become relevant in asserting the privilege to prevent authorities investigating the leaks from discovering any Richman–Comey communications. Story from The Federalist available here.

→Authorities arrested and then released two lawyers for rap mogul Suge Knight for accessory to witness tampering.  Knight, in custody and facing murder charges, would call a third-party who, in turn, conferenced in Knight’s lawyer.  The trial judge permitted prosecutors to listen to these calls because presence of the third-party waived any privilege.  The L.A. Times story is available here.

→Speaking of jailhouse recordings, regular readers of this monthly roundup column know that I’ve relayed several reports of prosecutors and authorities recording conversations between lawyers and their in-custody clients.  A Nebraska More…

MPR: Uber, Bengals, and a “Legal Nothingburger”? 2

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

→The Google/Uber trade-secrets litigation has produced several privilege-related issues, as I profiled here and here—but nothing like this.  The court delayed the trial after the ND Cal. U.S. Attorney revealed a letter (available here) from a former Uber employee claiming that a former Uber in-house attorney instructed employees to mark emails as “privileged” even if they were not seeking legal advice.  See Jennifer Williams’ article on the issue, which quotes yours truly, for more information.

→A lawyer for the Trump Transition Team sent a letter, available here, informing House and Senate leaders that the Special Counsel’s Office (Mueller) “unlawfully” received privileged information from the General Services Administration.  Mueller’s office denies the allegations.  Read the CNN story hereKatie Phang, MSNBC legal analyst (and an excellent trial lawyer) opines that the Transition Team’s privilege concern is a “legal nothingburger.”  See Katie’s commentary here.

→President Trump tweeted that he fired General Mike Flynn “because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI.”  This statement, of course, contradicts the President’s earlier statements More…

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.  More…