United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
96 F.3d 1294 (9th Cir. 1996)
Charles Rowe (defendant) was the senior partner at a law firm (defendant). Rowe became concerned that Lee McElravy, an attorney at the firm, was mishandling client funds. Rowe assigned two of the firm’s associate attorneys to investigate McElravy. While investigating McElravy, a grand jury subpoenaed the associates to ask them about their discussions with Rowe regarding McElravy. The associates and Rowe asserted the attorney-client privilege, claiming that the discussions were protected against disclosure because Rowe was the law firm’s attorney. The district court found that the associates were not providing legal services, because they were assigned merely to conduct factfinding for Rowe. As a result, the district court ordered the associates to testify about the discussions. Rowe and the law firm appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Kozinski, J.)
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