ACC brief notes that the right to consult an attorney is protected by the U.S. Constitution – and that the decision to consult a lawyer has no bearing on guilt or innocence.
Washington – The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) today filed an amicus brief in Federal Trade Commission v. Amazon, defending the constitutional rights of businesses and individuals to choose their legal representation and engage in legally privileged conversations with their lawyers, regardless of whether they are in-house counsel or employed by a law firm.
ACC’s brief, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, notes that the right to consult an attorney is protected by the U.S. Constitution – and that the decision to consult a lawyer has no bearing on guilt or innocence.
“Attempting to characterize that consulting with a lawyer is evidence of wrongdoing contradicts two long-held tenets central to our justice system - clients can engage in ‘full and frank communications’ with their lawyers and innocent until proven guilty,” said Susanna McDonald, ACC VP and Chief Legal Officer. “If clients are deterred from speaking with their lawyers, especially in the context of in-house counsel, this vital proactive compliance function is lost and runs counter to the recognized role that attorney-client privilege for in-house counsel plays in supporting the administration of justice.”
Read ACC’s entire amicus brief here.
About ACC: The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) is the premier global legal association that promotes the common professional and business interests of in-house counsel who work for corporations, associations and other organizations through information, education, networking, and advocacy. For more than 40 years, ACC has set the standard for in-house counsel and raised awareness regarding the value of the chief legal officer in the C-suite and boardroom. With more than 45,000 members employed by over 10,000 organizations and spanning 100+ nations, ACC connects its members to the people and resources necessary for both personal and professional growth. By in-house counsel, for in-house counsel® remains the foundation for ACC’s market leadership. For more information, visit www.acc.com and follow ACC on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.