attorney-client privilege, public relations firms, United States v. Kovel, Martha Stewart, Calvin Klein, Haugh v. Shroder Investment Management, In Re Grand Jury Subpoena


This Comment addresses the issue of whether, and under what circumstances, a lawyer’s communications with a public relations expert, whose advice is only valuable to the extent that it is communicated fully and freely with the attorney, will be protected by the attorney-client privilege. This Comment focuses on the role of public relations firms in the criminal law context, where constitutional concerns often arise. The author begins by laying out the history and background of the attorney-client privilege, and how the defense lawyer’s role has changed as a result of the rise of mass media. The Comment then goes on to explore the recent case law from the Second Circuit involving public relations firms and their applicability to the attorney-client privilege. From these cases the author synthesizes what she believes are the relevant factors used to decide whether the privilege attaches to public relations firms. Applying these factors the Comment argues that in orderr for our system of adjudication to be fair and just, we must permit attorneys to engage the media through assistance of public relations experts to whom the attorney-client privilege reaches.

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Criminal Law Commons



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