Supreme Court Declines to Review 3rd Circuit Ruling; Crime-Fraud Exception to Attorney-Client Privilege Decision Persists [Metropolitan Corporate Counsel]

Nicole Sprinzen, a member of Cozen O’Connor’s White Collar Defense & Investigations practice, discusses the Supreme Court’s decision to decline to review a Third Circuit ruling finding that the privilege typically recognized for attorney-client communications is broken where a client indicates that he will undertake potentially unlawful action after being advised about the contours of the law. The Supreme Court’s action is important to companies and individuals alike, because of the decision of the Third Circuit, binding on federal courts in Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, potentially weakens the protection afforded by the attorney-client privilege. The decision is especially important in the context of FCPA-related legal advice where the lack of case law providing guidance on the FCPA’s application creates ambiguity and often results in clients and their lawyers discussing the bounds of the law’s prohibitions.

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