January 12, 2021

Does the attorney-client privilege apply in congressional investigations?


Quick Insights on Congressional Investigations is a video interview series hosted by Mayer Brown partners Michael Levy and Andrew Olmem, who on a weekly basis unpack the nuanced complexities underlying congressional investigations and provide guidance on how companies can manage and minimize the impacts. Each episode is short and tackles one question relating to congressional investigations.

In this episode, Michael and Andrew explore whether the attorney-client privilege applies in congressional investigations, an issue that has been open-ended until a July 2020 opinion issued by the US Supreme Court in dicta.

Historically, congressional committees have tacitly acknowledged that companies and individuals are likely to assert the attorney-client privilege. This episode discusses numerous reasons why committees do not compel companies and individuals to provide privileged information, including the reality of the extremely compressed time frame in which many congressional investigations are conducted. If you missed our past episode exploring this question in further detail, you can view it here: “How long does a congressional investigation last?

View additional episodes in this series here.


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