A Georgia company’s efforts to resist disclosure of communications with its lawyer provoked a rare discussion at the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday over the importance of attorney-client privilege.

On the first day of its fall term, the Court heard hourlong arguments in Mohawk Industries Inc. v. Carpenter, which asks when a party can appeal a judge’s finding that it has waived the privilege in an order releasing material for discovery. Can such an order be appealed before the trial proceeds, as an interlocutory appeal, or only after “final judgment,” when the trial is over?

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