Many in-house counsel are hopeful that a proposal to amend Federal Rule of Evidence 502 currently before the Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure of the Judicial Conference will protect organizations against third-party discovery of attorney-client privilege and work-product protected documents and communications.
While the proposal intends to do that, I have concerns about the most controversial provision in the proposed rules--FRE 502(c).
Proposed FRE 502(c) enables government prosecutors and enforcement officials to continue to demand privilege waivers, violating corporate clients' rights to confidential counsel. ACC stands firm in its commitment to remain focused on protection of the privilege rather than codification of a means by which the government can continue to violate its tenets. To support anything less is to diminish the status of the corporate attorney-client privilege to that of a bargaining chip that must be forfeited on demand.