S&C Critical Insights – A Discussion of In Re Grand Jury

October 25, 2022

In this episode of S&C’s Critical Insights, Isaac Wheeler and Davis Wang, Co-Heads of S&C’s Tax Group, are joined by Morgan Ratner from the Firm’s Supreme Court and Appellate practice, to discuss In Re Grand Jury, a case in which the U.S. Supreme Court recently granted certiorari to address when “dual purpose” communications are afforded attorney-client privilege.
In In re Grand Jury, an unnamed law firm that specializes in international tax issues was asked to turn over documents that the firm argued are protected by the attorney-client privilege. The dual purpose communications at issue were made with the purpose of obtaining legal advice, which is generally privileged, and discussing the preparation of the client’s tax returns, which is not generally protected. A federal district court held the firm in contempt for its failure to produce the documents, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld that ruling.
Morgan, Davis and Isaac also explore hypothetical scenarios to showcase the challenges of distinguishing legal advice from what has been determined to be non-legal advice, especially in the tax field.