Non-unanimous acquittals and attorney-client privilege


PETITIONS OF THE WEEK

This week we spotlight cert petitions that ask the Supreme Court to contemplate, amongst different issues, whether or not the justices’ choice to stop non-unanimous convictions in Louisiana additionally prohibits Puerto Rico from authorizing non-unanimous acquittals, and whether or not a regulation agency can shield underneath attorney-client privilege communications for which authorized recommendation was a major, however not major, goal.

After Ramos, felony defendant asks justices to protect non-unanimous acquittals in Puerto Rico

In Ramos v. Louisiana, the Supreme Court dominated that states may solely convict defendants of great offenses with a unanimous jury verdict. In Centeno v. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Nelson Daniel Centeno asks the justices now to determine whether or not Ramos prevents Puerto Rico from permitting non-unanimous acquittals. Since 1952, when Puerto Rico enacted its structure, its invoice of rights has offered that the votes of 9 of twelve jurors sufficed for a verdict, whether or not to convict or acquit. After Ramos, the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico dominated that the case “overturned our constitutional clause.” As a consequence, the prosecution earlier than Centeno’s trial requested an instruction to the jurors that they “should all agree and vote, unanimously, whether or not to search out the defendant responsible or to search out him not responsible.”

Centeno argues that Ramos solely prevents Puerto Rico from authorizing non-unanimous convictions, not acquittals. The trial court docket and intermediate appellate court docket each agreed, ruling that Ramos was solely about convictions. The Puerto Rico Supreme Court, nonetheless, disagreed, ruling that Ramos utilized to each. In his petition, Centeno maintains that the Sixth Amendment solely protects defendants in opposition to the federal government, not the prosecution. He additionally observes, as did two dissenting justices, that the Supreme Court of Oregon (the one state in addition to Louisiana that approved non-unanimous convictions previous to Ramos) has dominated since Ramos that the choice doesn’t prohibit non-unanimous acquittals.

Law agency asks justices to contemplate the scope of attorney-client privilege for dual-purpose paperwork

In In re Grand Jury, the petitioner (whose id is redacted within the petition) is a regulation agency asking the justices to make clear the scope of attorney-client privilege when a communication with a consumer includes authorized and non-legal recommendation. After the agency obtained a grand jury subpoena looking for paperwork associated to a felony investigation of its consumer, the agency produced over 1,700 data however withheld others underneath attorney-client privilege. Some of those communications included each the agency’s authorized recommendation about planning for tax penalties of expatriation and non-legal recommendation about making ready tax returns.

The district court docket utilized a primary-purpose check to those dual-purpose communications, shielding these paperwork made “for the first goal” of receiving or offering authorized recommendation and requiring disclosure of these for which “the first or predominate goal was in regards to the procedural points of the preparation” of tax returns. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the ninth Circuit affirmed, declining to undertake the method in an opinion by then-Judge Brett Kavanaugh of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. In the D.C. Circuit, a dual-purpose communication might fall underneath attorney-client privilege as long as authorized recommendation represents a major goal for the communication, even when not the first goal. In its petition, the agency additionally observes that the approaches of each the ninth and D.C. Circuits battle with that of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the seventh Circuit, during which a dual-purpose communication isn’t privileged, even when authorized recommendation represented probably the most vital goal.

These and different petitions of the week are under:

In re Grand Jury
21-1397
Issue: Whether a communication involving each authorized and non-legal recommendation is protected by attorney-client privilege when acquiring or offering authorized recommendation was one of many vital functions behind the communication.

Centeno v. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
21-1398
Issue: Whether the Supreme Court’s choice in Ramos v. Louisiana bars Puerto Rico from persevering with to authorize non-unanimous acquittals.

Outdoor One Communications LLC v. Charter Township of Canton, Michigan
21-1402
Issues: (1) Whether a speaker should first have interaction in self-censorship to have standing to assault the constitutionality of a previous restraint on its speech; and (2) whether or not a speaker lacks standing to problem a facially content-based regulation of its speech if a court docket concludes the speaker receives “beneficiant” therapy underneath the scheme.

Ferris v. Scism
21-1422
Issues: (1) Whether the Fourth Amendment requires a police officer to attend till an armed suspect factors the barrel of his handgun within the officer’s route earlier than the officer can deploy deadly drive to guard himself and innocents within the space; (2) whether or not the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit erred in denying Detective Brett Ferris certified immunity with out even figuring out what materials information outlined the immunity questions; (3) whether or not the 2nd Circuit erred in deferring the certified immunity inquiries to the “post-verdict” stage of the trial in order that immunity would solely be addressed within the occasion a jury issued a verdict in opposition to Ferris; and (4) whether or not the 2nd Circuit’s choice under disregarded the Supreme Court’s repeated holdings that certified immunity is immunity from swimsuit, not merely immunity from judgment, when it declined to outline or determine the immunity questions regardless of a strong document containing undisputed information.


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