Judge Wrong To Let IRS Seize Law Firm's Files, 4th Circ. Says

Law360 (October 31, 2019, 7:29 PM EDT) -- A magistrate judge was wrong to authorize IRS agents to seize an attorney’s records and decide what was protected by attorney-client privilege because that power is reserved for the judicial branch, a panel of Fourth Circuit judges ruled Thursday.

Only the judicial branch of government, not the Internal Revenue Service, can decide whether a communication is privileged, the panel said. The circuit court reversed a district court’s order permitting the government to review the seized materials and remanded the case back for appropriate rulings.

The search and seizure of the law office of an unnamed Maryland attorney also resulted in subverting attorney-client...

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