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Sanctifying Secrecy: The Mythology of the Corporate Attorney-Client Privilege

66 Pages Posted: 11 Aug 2007  

Elizabeth G. Thornburg

Southern Methodist University - Dedman School of Law

Abstract

This article surveys the traditional justifications for giving corporations the benefit of attorney-client privilege. It rejects both moral and utilitarian explanations and argues that, far from being beneficial or benign, the privilege actually does great harm to the truth-seeking function of litigation and imposes tremendous transaction costs on the litigants and on the judicial system as a whole.

Keywords: privilege, attorney-client privilege, discovery, corporations, litigation ethics

JEL Classification: K41

Suggested Citation

Thornburg, Elizabeth G., Sanctifying Secrecy: The Mythology of the Corporate Attorney-Client Privilege. Notre Dame Law Review, Vol. 69, p. 158, 1993-1994. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1006313

Elizabeth G. Thornburg (Contact Author)

Southern Methodist University - Dedman School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 0116
Dallas, TX 75275
United States
214-768-2613 (Phone)
214-768-3142 (Fax)

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