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In re Grand Jury Proceedings in Matter of Fine
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
641 F.2d 199 (1981)
A ship called the Nordakrum was used to smuggle marijuana into Louisiana. The registered owner of the Nordakrum was an offshore corporation by the name of Labol Investments (Labol). Labol was formed by Jeffrey Fine, an attorney, on behalf of an unnamed client (defendant). Fine was called as a witness before a grand jury, but he refused to reveal the name of his client. The government (plaintiff) filed a motion to compel, contending that Fine was required to reveal the client’s name. Subsequently, the district court held an evidentiary hearing. At the hearing, Fine testified that he did not know that the Nordakrum was used to smuggle marijuana. Fine also testified that he did not know that Labol was the registered owner of the Nordakrum. The district court determined that the attorney-client privilege between Fine and his client did not exist. Consequently, the district court issued an order granting the motion to compel, requiring Fine to reveal the name of his client. Fine’s unnamed client intervened in the proceedings and appealed from the district court’s order.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Reavley, J.)
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