News and Events for Attorneys and Executives

Mueller Pierced Manafort’s Attorney-Client Privilege Once, May Try the Tactic Again

By on November 1, 2017 in Criminal Law, Government

Paul Manafort
Image by Disney | ABC Television Group

A little-noticed court filing unsealed this week as part of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s ongoing probe could have big consequences for his other targets — showing he’s willing to use suspects’ lawyers to provide evidence against them, according to The Washington Post.

An opinion by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell found that one of Manafort’s former lawyers could be compelled to testify to the grand jury. She found a “crime fraud” exception to the attorney-client privilege, writing:

When a person uses the attorney-client relationship to further a criminal scheme, the law is well established that a claim of attorney-client or work-product privilege must yield to the grand jury’s investigatory needs.

Above the Law reports (sourcing the National Law Journal) that the attorney in question is Melissa Laurenza, partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld whose practice focuses on campaign law and lobbying registration.

Read the Washington Post article.