On January 9, 2023, the Supreme Court held oral arguments on a significant issue regarding the application of the attorney-client privilege in a case called In re Grand Jury, Docket No. 21-1397, 598 U.S. ___ (2023). In re Grand Jury was appealed to the Supreme Court from the Ninth Circuit. The issue before the Supreme Court was which test should apply to a “dual-purpose” communication. A dual-purpose communication occurs when a communication may have a business purpose, but also asks for legal advice. This type of communication is typical between lawyers providing both legal and business advice to employers, and it is very common for lawyers in an in-house counsel role to frequently have dual-purpose communications with their employers. Although the Supreme Court decided to dismiss the writ of certiorari after oral arguments occurred in this case, it is important to understand why this test would have been significant to all different types of attorneys, especially because it is becoming increasingly more common for attorneys to wear “two hats” by providing both business advice and legal advice regularly to clients.
While many commentators were wondering when the Supreme Court would start issuing opinions, the backlog of argued cases now being substantial, today is their day.
The Supreme Court is back in live session, and so is this blog.
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