United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
828 F.2d 94 (2d Cir. 1987)
Claus von Bulow (defendant) was charged with two counts of assault with attempt to murder his wife, Martha. The trial court convicted him, but the court of appeals reversed and acquitted him. Subsequently, Martha’s children from a previous marriage (plaintiffs) brought a civil suit against von Bulow for assault, negligence, fraud, and RICO violations. While the civil suit was pending, von Bulow’s appellate attorney published a book about the criminal case. Von Bulow helped with the book and even encouraged its release. The book contained excerpts of conversations between von Bulow and his attorney, but not the entire conversations. The plaintiffs filed a motion to compel disclosure of certain communications between von Bulow and his attorney on the grounds that the book constituted a waiver of von Bulow’s attorney-client privilege. The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (District Court) found that von Bulow’s attorney-client privilege had been waived and that the plaintiffs were entitled to discover (1) “the entire contents of all conversation from which [the attorney] published extracts in [the book],” (2) all subject matter areas related to the conversations, and (3) related conversations with other defense attorneys. Von Bulow sought a writ of mandamus requiring the District Court to vacate its order.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Cardamone, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 239,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,200 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.