The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court considered whether evidence or documents that were provided to an attorney by the client are obtainable by prosecutors from the attorney via subpoena. The question, the court ruled, depends on whether or not the the evidence was provided to the attorney for purposes of legal assistance.
This case involved circumstances where the defendant was the subject of a grand jury investigation who, in the course of seeking legal advice, had given his phone to his lawyer. The government, on behalf of the grand jury, obtained an order from a superior court judge ordering the attorney to produce the phone so that the grand jury could examine its contents. The attorney refused to honor the superior court judge’s ordering him to do so and the appeal reached the Supreme Judicial Court. Continue reading →