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Ralls v. United States

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
52 F.3d 223 (1995)


Ralls (defendant) was a criminal defense attorney retained by a third party to represent Bonette at his initial appearance and detention hearing in connection with charges related to drug trafficking. The United States (plaintiff) issued a grand jury subpoena demanding that Ralls disclose the name of the fee-payer, details of payment and any retainer agreement, and the substance of conversations between Ralls and the fee-payer. Ralls moved to quash the subpoena and the federal district court ordered him to disclose the fee-payer’s identity and the details of payment arrangements. The district court extended attorney-client privilege to the substance of conversations between Ralls and the fee-payer. Ralls refused to respond to the subpoena and the district court held him in contempt. Ralls appealed the district court’s denial of his motion to quash and its order finding him in contempt.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Choy, J.)

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