< meta name="DC.Date.Valid.End" content="20050825"> Amendment Nine: And About That "Executive Privilege" Thing

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

And About That "Executive Privilege" Thing

Let's say I'm an attorney, and my client is discussing a legal problem in confidence with me. We invite a third party, let's call them "Congress" to come in and discuss the problem. Congress is completely separate from my law firm, though we often deal with the same types of work. Congress however is not a party to the problem, they are completely "outside" the claim, and we've had them sign no non-disclosure agreement. The attorney-client privilege (unless otherwise contractually modified) in this case is broken by communicating confidences in the presence of a third-party and taking no steps to ensure that communication is private (at least, I think thats right).

So as the latest Energy Task Force news break (oh, yeah, the oil executives did participate afterall... some newsflash) can someone please respond to this:
Lea Anne McBride, a spokeswoman for Cheney, declined to comment on the document. She said that the courts have upheld "the constitutional right of the president and vice president to obtain information in confidentiality."
by simply saying: "no". The court didn't. They didn't answer the question whether if an officer of the legislature is present in during the communication the privilege is broken as between the executive and the legislature. And since the VP is constitutionally an officer of the legislature, don't we need to answer that question? More on this here and here.