The attorney-client privilege may shield descriptions of events an inmate recorded in her journal if she recorded them to relay to her attorney, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled.
Vacating the decision of Southern District of New York Judge Deborah Batts, the circuit said that diminished privacy of inmates for Fourth Amendment purposes does not obviate the protections of the attorney-client privilege on materials found in a cell. The circuit also held that notes or an outline assembled to prepare for a meeting with an attorney — notes that describe the events under investigation — may also be shielded by the privilege in some circumstances.
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