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Name: U.S. v. Alexander
Case #: 00-30348
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 04/19/2002
Subsequent History: None
Summary

Alexander was a member of the State Bar of Montana who was indicted in an adoption fraud case. A Federal Defender, Werner, was appointed to represent him. Alexander resided in Oklahoma and communicated with Werner through mail and telephone. He made numerous threats to harm people involved in the prosecution, including Werner. Werner notified the U.S. Probation office of the threats, and was served with a grand jury subpoena. He was ordered by the court to testify concerning the threats without revealing any confidential communications not related to the threats. On appeal Alexander argued that Werner’s grand jury and trial testimony violated the attorney-client privilege and his Sixth Amendment right to counsel. The appellate court here affirmed. Only confidential disclosures necessary to obtain legal advice are privileged. Confidentiality doesn’t extend to a client’s plan to engage in future criminal activity.