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DOJ Revises Charging Guidelines on Privilege

Aug 29th 2008
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By Edith Orenstein, FEI Financial Reporting Blog -Deputy Attorney General Mark R. Filip announced yesterday (Aug. 28) that the Department of Justice (DOJ) has revised its charging guidelines - formally known as the Principles of Federal Prosecution of Business Organizations - to enhance the protection of attorney-client privilege. The guidelines, enhanced under then-Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson, and subsequently revised by then-Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty, were heavily criticized by the bar for eroding attorney-client privilege and interfering with the right to legal defense by crediting companies with 'cooperation" for waiving attorney client privilege and withholding legal defense fees.

Representatives of bar associations and Senator Arlen Specter praised DOJ's action, but reiterated their position that legislation is needed to give permanence to these actions, and to provide a government-wide solution, since DOJ's action does not impact similarly criticized policies at the SEC and other agencies. Read more here.