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Supreme Court Considers “Significant Purpose” Test for Application of Attorney-Client Privilege

On January 9, 2023, the United States Supreme Court heard oral argument in In re Grand Jury, No. 21-1397, an appeal from the Ninth Circuit regarding whether attorney-client privilege protects “dual-purpose” communications, i.e., where the communications between a client and an attorney contain both legal and non-legal advice.

During the oral argument, the Petitioner asked the Court to consider and adopt the “significant purpose” test, to replace the “primary purpose” test, to determine if dual‑purpose communications are privileged.

The outcome of this case may have a significant impact on attorney-client privilege in the United States.


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