Business of Law

Issue for Judge in Lawyer Perjury Case: How to Search Lawyer Files Yet Not Violate Client Privilege?


As an investigation proceeds in an unusual perjury conspiracy case brought against a Michigan lawyer as he was about to try a client’s capital murder case, the presiding judge overseeing the attorney’s prosecution is faced with a difficult problem.

How should investigators proceed, in reviewing criminal defense lawyer David Dunn’s client files, in order to obtain relevant evidence, if any, yet not violate attorney-client privilege?

Wayne County Circuit Presiding Judge Timothy Kenny asked prosecutors and defense lawyers on Friday to come up with a file-review plan to present to him by Wednesday, reports the Detroit Free Press.

Kenny anticipates that he or an independent court-appointed master will implement the review plan, the newspaper notes.

Arrested last week in Kenny’s courtroom, along with his client Andre Collins, Dunn is free on personal bond. Dunn could face a sentence of up to life in prison, if convicted in the case on the perjury and conspiracy charges.

Collins, who is also charged in the alleged perjury conspiracy, is jailed without bond. He was urged by Kenny to get another lawyer to represent him instead of Dunn and agreed to the appointment of new counsel.

Relying on unidentified sources, the Free Press says that Collins sent a witness to meet with Dunn, who allegedly discussed proposed perjury. The witness then went to authorities, the article continues, who wired him for another meeting with Dunn.

Additional coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Arrested in Court Yesterday, Attorney David Dunn Gets Personal Bond Today in Perjury Conspiracy Case”

ABAJournal.com: “Defense Attorney, Unlike Prosecutor, Was Publicly Arrested and Jailed in False Testimony Case”

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