Sullivan Addresses Attorney-Client Privilege in the Corporate Setting
William Sullivan, a litigation partner based in Winston & Strawn’s Washington, D.C. office, was quoted in Corporate Counsel on March 8, 2011. The article, “Court to Rule in Case of Imprisoned U.K. Exec That Carries Major Privilege Implications,” addresses how far prosecutors can go to pierce a corporate executive’s attorney-client privilege.
Mr. Sullivan, who has testified twice before the House Judiciary Committee regarding the protection of the attorney-client privilege, drew on United States of America v. Ian P. Morris which involves Morris, former CEO of the Morgan Crucible Co., who was convicted of price-fixing on carbon products. Federal prosecutors used the company’s outside counsel to testify against and convict Morris. The case is now before the Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit. The appeal will go before a three-judge panel, without oral argument, on March 15, 2011.
“The conviction creates deeply troubling implications for the attorney-client privilege in the corporate setting,” said Bill. Sullivan commenting on the case. “The district court inexplicably permitted the government to puncture Norris’ attorney-client privilege, by allowing the government to present at trial his former defense attorney in order to elicit Norris’ privileged communications, even when documents and testimony firmly established the vitality of their attorney-client relationship,” he concluded.
Contact: Pamela Whitney, Whitney Corporate Relations – 202.747.4440
or Bill Sullivan, 202.282.5744