Non-unanimous acquittals and legal professional-customer privilege


This week we highlight cert petitions that talk to the Supreme Court to consider, among other matters, regardless of whether the justices’ choice to stop non-unanimous convictions in Louisiana also prohibits Puerto Rico from authorizing non-unanimous acquittals, and no matter if a law business can secure beneath lawyer-customer privilege communications for which legal guidance was a significant, but not primary, function.

Just after Ramos, legal defendant asks justices to preserve non-unanimous acquittals in Puerto Rico

In Ramos v. Louisiana, the Supreme Courtroom ruled that states could only convict defendants of serious offenses with a unanimous jury verdict. In Centeno v. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Nelson Daniel Centeno asks the justices now to choose whether or not Ramos prevents Puerto Rico from allowing for non-unanimous acquittals. Since 1952, when Puerto Rico enacted its constitution, its monthly bill of legal rights has supplied that the votes of 9 of twelve jurors sufficed for a verdict, whether or not to convict or acquit. Soon after Ramos, the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico ruled that the scenario “overturned our constitutional clause.” As a result, the prosecution ahead of Centeno’s demo asked for an instruction to the jurors that they “must all concur and vote, unanimously, no matter whether to locate the defendant guilty or to obtain him not guilty.”

Centeno argues that Ramos only helps prevent Puerto Rico from authorizing non-unanimous convictions, not acquittals. The demo courtroom and intermediate appellate court docket equally agreed, ruling that Ramos was only about convictions. The Puerto Rico Supreme Court, on the other hand, disagreed, ruling that Ramos applied to equally. In his petition, Centeno maintains that the Sixth Amendment only protects defendants against the government, not the prosecution. He also observes, as did two dissenting justices, that the Supreme Court docket of Oregon (the only condition in addition to Louisiana that authorized non-unanimous convictions prior to Ramos) has dominated since Ramos that the decision does not prohibit non-unanimous acquittals.

Regulation business asks justices to contemplate the scope of attorney-consumer privilege for dual-purpose paperwork

In In re Grand Jury, the petitioner (whose identification is redacted in the petition) is a legislation company asking the justices to make clear the scope of legal professional-consumer privilege when a communication with a consumer involves authorized and non-legal suggestions. After the organization acquired a grand jury subpoena in search of files associated to a prison investigation of its customer, the organization manufactured over 1,700 documents but withheld other people beneath lawyer-client privilege. Some of these communications integrated both equally the firm’s legal guidance about organizing for tax effects of expatriation and non-lawful suggestions about making ready tax returns.

The district court applied a principal-objective exam to these twin-intent communications, shielding those files manufactured “for the primary purpose” of getting or offering lawful advice and necessitating disclosure of those people for which “the principal or predominate reason was about the procedural facets of the preparation” of tax returns. The U.S. Court docket of Appeals for the 9th Circuit affirmed, declining to undertake the approach in an view by then-Judge Brett Kavanaugh of the U.S. Court docket of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. In the D.C. Circuit, a twin-reason conversation might fall underneath legal professional-consumer privilege so long as authorized information signifies a significant intent for the interaction, even if not the key reason. In its petition, the firm also observes that the ways of the two the 9th and D.C. Circuits conflict with that of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, in which a twin-purpose conversation is not privileged, even if legal assistance represented the most sizeable objective.

These and other petitions of the week are beneath:

In re Grand Jury
Concern: Whether or not a conversation involving each lawful and non-legal guidance is protected by legal professional-consumer privilege when acquiring or furnishing legal assistance was just one of the considerable purposes driving the conversation.

Centeno v. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
Challenge: Whether or not the Supreme Court’s determination in Ramos v. Louisiana bars Puerto Rico from continuing to authorize non-unanimous acquittals.

Outdoor A person Communications LLC v. Constitution Township of Canton, Michigan
Challenges: (1) Whether or not a speaker must first interact in self-censorship to have standing to assault the constitutionality of a prior restraint on its speech and (2) no matter whether a speaker lacks standing to problem a facially content material-based mostly regulation of its speech if a court concludes the speaker gets “generous” cure under the scheme.

Ferris v. Scism
Problems: (1) No matter whether the Fourth Amendment requires a police officer to wait around right up until an armed suspect details the barrel of his handgun in the officer’s route ahead of the officer can deploy lethal force to protect himself and innocents in the region (2) whether or not the U.S. Courtroom of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit erred in denying Detective Brett Ferris capable immunity with out even pinpointing what product info described the immunity questions (3) no matter if the 2nd Circuit erred in deferring the skilled immunity concerns to the “post-verdict” phase of the demo so that immunity would only be tackled in the event a jury issued a verdict against Ferris and (4) no matter whether the 2nd Circuit’s choice down below disregarded the Supreme Court’s recurring holdings that qualified immunity is immunity from accommodate, not simply immunity from judgment, when it declined to outline or make your mind up the immunity thoughts irrespective of a strong document made up of undisputed information.