12.16.09 Congressman Robert C. Scott (D-VA-3) introduced the Attorney-Client Privilege Protection Act, H.R. 4326. The bill is designed to address the government’s use of “coercive waivers” to gain access to privileged communications that otherwise would remain private and protected under the doctrine of attorney-client privilege.
In 2008, the Department of Justice issued new guidelines to address many of the prior concerns about placing corporate defendants at greater risk of prosecution if they seek to rely upon their attorney-client privilege. However, these guidelines do not govern agencies outside that Department, and the bill’s sponsors believe the entire Executive Branch should be bound by a uniform policy in this area. This bill is introduced to impose such a uniform policy.