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S.186 - Attorney-Client Privilege Protection Sct of 2007
A bill to provide appropriate protection to attorney-client privileged communications and attorney work product.
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January 4, 2007
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.
(3) To serve the purpose of the attorney-client privilege, attorneys and clients must have a degree of confidence that they will not be required to disclose privileged communications.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(4) The ability of an organization to have effective compliance programs and to conduct comprehensive internal investigations is enhanced when there is clarity and consistency regarding the attorney-client privilege.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(5) Prosecutors, investigators, enforcement officials, and other officers or employees of Government agencies have been able to, and can continue to, conduct their work while respecting attorney-client and work product protections and the rights of individuals, including seeking and discovering facts crucial to the investigation and prosecution of organizations.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(6) Despite the existence of these legitimate tools, the Department of Justice and other agencies have increasingly employed tactics that undermine the adversarial system of justice, such as encouraging organizations to waive attorney-client privilege and work product protections to avoid indictment or other sanctions.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(7) An indictment can have devastating consequences on an organization, potentially eliminating the ability of the organization to survive post-indictment or to dispute the charges against it at trial.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(9) The attorney-client privilege, work product doctrine, and payment of counsel fees shall not be used as devices to conceal wrongdoing or to cloak advice on evading the law.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(b) Purpose- It is the purpose of this Act to place on each agency clear and practical limits designed to preserve the attorney-client privilege and work product protections available to an organization and preserve the constitutional rights and other legal protections available to employees of such an organization.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 3. DISCLOSURE OF ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGE OR ADVANCEMENT OF COUNSEL FEES AS ELEMENTS OF COOPERATION.
`Sec. 3014. Preservation of fundamental legal protections and rights in the context of investigations and enforcement matters regarding organizations
`(1) ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGE- The term `attorney-client privilege' means the attorney-client privilege as governed by the principles of the common law, as they may be interpreted by the courts of the United States in the light of reason and experience, and the principles of article V of the Federal Rules of Evidence.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
`(2) ATTORNEY WORK PRODUCT- The term `attorney work product' means materials prepared by or at the direction of an attorney in anticipation of litigation, particularly any such materials that contain a mental impression, conclusion, opinion, or legal theory of that attorney.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
`(1) demand, request, or condition treatment on the disclosure by an organization, or person affiliated with that organization, of any communication protected by the attorney-client privilege or any attorney work product;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
`(2) condition a civil or criminal charging decision relating to a organization, or person affiliated with that organization, on, or use as a factor in determining whether an organization, or person affiliated with that organization, is cooperating with the Government--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
`(C) the entry into a joint defense, information sharing, or common interest agreement with an employee of that organization if the organization determines it has a common interest in defending against the investigation or enforcement matter;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
`(E) a failure to terminate the employment of or otherwise sanction any employee of that organization because of the decision by that employee to exercise the constitutional rights or other legal protections of that employee in response to a Government request; orCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
`(c) Inapplicability- Nothing in this Act shall prohibit an agent or attorney of the United States from requesting or seeking any communication or material that such agent or attorney reasonably believes is not entitled to protection under the attorney-client privilege or attorney work product doctrine.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
`(d) Voluntary Disclosures- Nothing in this Act is intended to prohibit an organization from making, or an agent or attorney of the United States from accepting, a voluntary and unsolicited offer to share the internal investigation materials of such organization.'.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink