Upjohn Co. v. United States
United States Supreme Court
449 U.S. 383 (1981)
In response to an independent audit reflecting illegal payments to foreign government officials by employees of Upjohn (defendant), Upjohn’s general counsel, Gerard Thomas, sent a questionnaire to Upjohn employees requesting any information they had concerning the payments. The IRS issued a summons requesting Upjohn’s production of the questionnaires, but Upjohn refused to produce the questionnaires on the basis of attorney-client privilege. The district court enforced the summons and the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed, holding that the attorney-client privilege did not apply in the corporate context to those employees that were not directly responsible for directing Upjohn’s actions in response to legal advice. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Rehnquist, J.)
Concurrence (Burger, C.J.)
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