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The Future of the Attorney-Client Relationship in White-Collar Prosecutions

Recorded on November 30, 2006

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

Individuals and organizations spanning the political spectrum are actively opposing the Justice Department's current policies and practices for investigating and prosecuting business organizations.  These policies and practices have created a federal law-enforcement culture in which it is generally expected that a business organization will waive its attorney-client privilege and work‑product protections in order to have any hope of avoiding indictment.  Based in part on recent Judiciary Committee hearings in both the House and the Senate, there appears to be bipartisan support for change.  A coalition of legal and business associations formed to protect the attorney-client relationship is working with Congress to enact reform legislation. 


The existing culture of waiver and coercive and arguably improper federal investigative techniques did not develop solely because of the so-called Thompson Memorandum.  Merely amending the Thompson Memorandum may not be sufficient to restore the full panoply of protections that the attorney-client relationship formerly provided to suspects.  This event will explore how best to redress the culture of waiver and restore the vitality of the attorney-client relationship in investigations and prosecutions of business organizations.