On January 23, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed In Re Grand Jury, 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.
According to the decision, the case was dismissed as improvidently granted.
The Association of Corporate Counsel stated:
Without guidance from the Supreme Court, the legal landscape for dual purpose communications remains murky. In-house counsel routinely engage in communications that have both legal and business purposes that cannot easily be untangled. Because the circuit courts are split over which test should be used to determine privilege in these situations, in-house counsel are left wondering what test will apply when so many transactions are across state borders and many companies have operations in multiple states.
See the decision here: https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/22pdf/21-1397_ap6b.pdf
See previous coverage here:
Read about the ACC statement here: https://www.canadianlawyermag.com/news/international/acc-issues-statement-regarding-us-supreme-courts-decision-to-dismiss-in-re-grand-jury-case/373107