The United States Supreme Court on October 3 granted certiorari to review a controversial Ninth Circuit decision—In re Grand Jury—that limited attorney-client privilege treatment for communications involving both legal and non-legal purposes, known as “dual-purpose” communications. A decision is expected in the current Supreme Court term, which commenced this month.
The Ninth Circuit held in In re Grand Jury that, for a dual-purpose communication be privileged, its primary purpose must have been obtaining or providing legal advice. The Ninth Circuit’s test conflicts with holdings of the D.C. Circuit that privilege attaches where legal advice was a significant purpose of the communication.