Crime-Fraud Exception

News & Analysis as of

The Crime-Fraud Exception Does Not Depend on Lawyers' Misconduct

The so-called "crime-fraud exception" can strip away privilege protection from otherwise privileged communications that further clients' future criminal or fraudulent conduct. ...more

Use of General Counsel as Informant Against Corporate Client – A Reminder of the New Era in Aggressive White Collar Investigative...

The use of more aggressive investigative techniques in white-collar corporate probes in the aftermath of the last financial crisis is no secret. Over the last decade, law enforcement has increasingly resorted to...more

Court Denies Request For Documents

Defendant seeks documents on the basis of the crime-fraud exception relating to abandonment and revival of a patent application which eventually issued. ...more

Court Orders Production of Work Product Documents under Crime-Fraud Exception to Attorney-Client Privilege Where Defendants Had...

In an earlier filed decision, the district court had previously found that Escort and its defense counsel had knowingly misled the plaintiff, Fleming, which warranted a sanction of attorney fees. As explained by the district...more

Recorded Conversations with In-House Counsel Permitted as Evidence in FCPA Trial

Earlier this month, a federal judge in New Jersey held that a secretly recorded conversation between a former chief executive officer and his general counsel may be used by prosecutors as evidence against the former executive...more

Justice Department Files First FCPA Case of 2015, Reminds Lawyers to Watch Out

Last week, the Justice Department filed the first FCPA case of 2015 when it indicted Dmitrij Harder, the former owner and president the Chestnut Consulting Group in Huntingdon Valley, Pa. ...more

NJ Assembly Passes Crime-Fraud Exception to Spousal Privilege

On December 15, 2014, the NJ Assembly passed legislation that would create a crime-fraud exception to the spousal privilege. The measure, A-3636, was a response to the decision in State v. Terry. In the case, a married couple...more

Crime-Fraud Exception to Attorney-Client Privilege – Facebook’s Lawsuit

The crime-fraud exception to attorney-client privilege: As an attorney, you may not anticipate it applying to your emails, your letters or your advice to your client. But even if you never see it coming, your client’s...more

Supreme Court Declines to Review 3rd Circuit Ruling; Crime-Fraud Exception to Attorney-Client Privilege Decision Persists

On November 10, 2014, the Supreme Court (No. 14-389) declined to review the 3rd Circuit decision (No. 13-1237), In Re: Grand Jury Subpoena, leaving intact the 3rd Circuit’s ruling on the proper bounds of the crime-fraud...more

High Court Should Review Scope Of Crime-Fraud Exception

In Zolin, the Supreme Court determined that a party invoking the crime-fraud exception must make a threshold showing before a district court may review documented attorney-client communications on camera. The court settled on...more

The Crime-Fraud Exception: Open Questions for the Supreme Court

In Zolin, the Supreme Court determined that a party invoking the crime-fraud exception must make a threshold showing before a district court may review documented attorney-client communications in camera. The Court settled on...more

Court Rules That Crime-Fraud Exception Trumps Attorney-Client Privilege Where Patent Holder Made Series of False Representations...

HTC Corporation and HTC America, Inc. ("HTC") moved for a finding that this patent infringement action is "exceptional" under the Patent Act's fee-shifting provision which authorizes the award of attorney fees and costs to...more

SEC Acknowledges Ethical Obligations May Preclude Voluntary Reporting Out By Attorneys

In 2003, the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted rules that purportedly immunized attorneys who, subject to specific conditions, reveal confidential information to the SEC. 17 C.F.R. § 205.3(d)(2) Technically, the...more

Welcome To The Hotel California: FCPA Enforcement

This past weekend I saw The Eagles on their ‘History of The Eagles’ Tour. It truly was that, a complete musical history of the group, from the beginning in 1971 up until now. They played for well over 3 hours and it was...more

Hospital Ordered to Produce Privileged Documents Under the Crime-Fraud Exception

A magistrate judge in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida recently ordered a hospital defendant in a False Claims Act (FCA) case to turn over two prime documents to the U.S. Department of Justice and...more

Sending the Privilege Away: Attorney-Client E-Mails in the Corporate Setting

In a pending False Claims Act (“FCA”) case involving allegations of noncompliance with the federal physician self-referral law (the “Stark Law”), 42 U.S.C. § 1395nn, the United States District Court for the Middle District of...more

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