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In re Grand Jury Investigation No. 83-2-35 (Durant)

United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
723 F.2d 447 (1983)


The United States government (plaintiff) convened a grand jury to investigate an unknown party’s theft of checks. The party allegedly used one of the checks to pay lawyer Richard Durant (defendant) for legal services. Durant refused to disclose the client's identity, claiming attorney-client privilege. Durant argued that disclosure could: (1) implicate the client in criminal activity, (2) supply the last link of evidence needed to indict the client, and (3) implicate the client's guilt in the theft because the theft Durant was the subject of the legal services he provided. The government argued the privilege was inapplicable under the complex circumstances of the case. Durant did not ask the judge to review his claim of privilege in an ex parte in camera hearing. The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan ordered Durant to reveal the client’s identity. When Durant still refused to do so, the court cited him for contempt. Durant appealed the contempt citation to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Krupansky, J.)

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