Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status

Swidler & Berlin v. United States

524 U.S. 399 (1998)

Case BriefRelatedOptions
From our private database of 26,900+ case briefs...

Swidler & Berlin v. United States

United States Supreme Court

524 U.S. 399 (1998)

Play video

Facts

In 1993, the Office of Independent Counsel began an investigation into whether there were any improprieties in the firing of several White House travel employees. Vincent Foster, deputy White House counsel, met with James Hamilton, an attorney with Swidler & Berlin (defendant), to seek legal advice with regard to the investigation. Hamilton took three pages of notes at their meeting. One of the first entries in the notes is the word “Privileged”. Nine days after the meeting, Foster committed suicide. A federal grand jury then issued subpoenas to Swidler & Berlin for, inter alia, Hamilton’s notes. Swidler & Berlin filed a motion to quash on the grounds that the notes were protected by the attorney-client privilege. The district court denied enforcement of the subpoenas. The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reversed. It found that there is a posthumous exception to the privilege for attorney-client communications of which the relative importance to criminal litigation is substantial. Swidler & Berlin petitioned for certiorari to the Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Rehnquist, J.)

Dissent (O’Connor, J.)

What to do next…

  1. 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 540,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.

    Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
  2. 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.

    Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee

Here's why 540,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 26,900 briefs, keyed to 983 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.

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership
Here's why 540,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet
  • 26,900 briefs - keyed to 983 casebooks
  • Uniform format for every case brief
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions
  • Top-notch customer support

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership