In Re: Grand Jury Subpoena, No. 13-1237 (3d Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
The client was the target of a grand jury investigation into alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The grand jury served a subpoena on the client’s former attorney and the government moved to enforce this subpoena and compel testimony, under the crime-fraud exception to the attorney-client privilege. The client sought to quash the subpoena by asserting the attorney-client privilege and work product protection. After questioning the attorney in camera, the district court found that the crime-fraud exception applied and compelled testimony. The Third Circuit affirmed, holding that the district court applied the correct standard in determining whether to conduct an in camera examination of a witness, requiring a showing of a factual basis adequate to support a good faith belief by a reasonable person that in camera review of the materials may reveal evidence to establish the claim that the crime-fraud exception applies. The court did not abuse its discretion in applying that standard, in determining procedures for the examination, or in ultimately finding that the crime-fraud exception applied.