Resolution Endorsing Legislation to Protect the Attorney-Client Privilege, the Work Product Doctrine, and Employee’s Constitutional and Other Legal Rights From Governmental Policies that have the Effect of Eroding these Fundamental Legal Principles

RESOLVED, that the Philadelphia Bar Association strongly supports the preservation of the attorney-client privilege and work product doctrine as essential to maintaining the confidential relationship between client and attorney required to encourage clients to discuss their legal matters fully and candidly with their counsel so as to (1) promote compliance with law through effective counseling, (2) ensure effective advocacy for the client, (3) ensure access to justice and (4) promote the proper and efficient functioning of the American adversary system of justice.

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Philadelphia Bar Association opposes policies, practices and procedures of governmental bodies that have the effect of eroding the attorney-client privilege and work product doctrine and favors policies, practices and procedures that recognize the value of those protections.

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Philadelphia Bar Association opposes the practice by government officials of seeking to obtain a waiver of the attorney client privilege or work product doctrine through the granting or denial of any benefit or advantage.

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Philadelphia Bar Association opposes government policies, practices and procedures that have the effect of eroding the constitutional and other legal rights of current or former employees, officers, directors or agents (“Employees”) by requiring, encouraging or permitting prosecutors or other enforcement authorities to take into consideration any of the following factors in making a determination of whether an organization has been cooperative in the context of a government investigation:

(1) that the organization provided counsel to, or advanced, reimbursed or indemnified the legal fees and expenses of, an Employee;
(2) that the organization entered into or continues to operate under a joint defense, information sharing and common interest agreement with an Employee or other represented party with whom the organization believes it has a common interest in defending against the investigation;
(3) that the organization shared its records or other historical information relating to the matter under investigation with an Employee; or
4) that the organization chose to retain or otherwise declined to sanction an Employee who exercised his or her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in response to a government request for an interview, testimony, or other information.

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Philadelphia Bar Association supports the enactment of H.R. 3013, S. 186, and/or other similar federal legislation designed to protect the attorney-client privilege, the work product doctrine, and Employee’s constitutional and other legal rights from governmental policies that have the effect of eroding these fundamental legal principles.

PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
ADOPTED: NOVEMBER 29, 2007