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Matter of Michael Feldberg

862 F.2d 622 (1988)

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Matter of Michael Feldberg

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

862 F.2d 622 (1988)

Facts

A grand jury investigated sports agents who signed amateur athletes to professional contracts. The grand jury subpoenaed World Sports and Entertainment (World Sports) to produce all contracts it had signed with college football players. World Sports and its president retained attorney Michael Feldberg to represent them. Initially Feldberg turned over 51 contracts dated after each athlete’s collegiate eligibility had expired. When the grand jury made a second request, Feldberg produced seven more contracts—six for players still eligible to play in the upcoming college season. However, the contracts were post-dated as if signed in the future after the athletes’ college careers had ended. Entering the contracts meant the players lost amateur status, and their colleges risked forfeiting games they played. The grand jury indicted World Sports and its president for mail fraud. One of the players (Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Cris Carter) also pleaded guilty to charges. The grand jury summoned Feldberg to testify as to how he had obtained the first batch of contracts and explain why he initially omitted the second. Feldberg asserted attorney-client privilege when asked who searched World Sports’ files and how. When the district court compelled Feldberg to answer some but not all of the questions, World Sports and its president immediately appealed on privilege grounds.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Easterbrook, J.)

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