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The Champion

September 2008 , Page 10 

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By Jack King

Read more NACDL News columns.

Revised DOJ ‘Policy’ Is Positive Step, but Stein Underscores Need for New Law

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, a leading member of the Coalition to Preserve the Attorney-Client Privilege, appreciates the Justice Department’s latest policy recognizing the attorney-client privilege. It is, however, “only a policy — not binding on the Justice Department or U.S. attorneys in the field, and subject to revision or rescission by the attorney general at any time, for any reason, or for no reason at all,” NACDL President John Wesley Hall said in a statement issued Aug. 28.

The revised policy instructs U.S. attorneys and line prosecutors not to treat the attorney-client and work product privileges or payment of corporate employees’ attorneys’ fees as obstructions of justice. Likewise, it discourages prosecutors from coercing waivers of the privileges as positive criteria of cooperation and compliance with official investigations.

“This is not just an

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