Brief Fact Summary. Without waiving his attorney-client privilege, Bilzerian (Defendant) argued that he should be permitted to testify with regard to his subjective belief as to the legality of specific stock transactions.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Attorney-client privilege may be waived when a person testifies regarding his subjectivebelief as to the legality of a transaction.
Issue. May attorney-client privilege be waived when a person testifies regarding his subjective belief as to the legality of a transaction?
Held. (Cardamone, J.) Yes.Attorney-client privilege may be waived when a person testifies regarding his subjective belief as to the legality of a transaction. Realizing the significance of free and full communication betwixt a client and attorney, the law allows otherwise pertinent evidence to be omitted with regard to such communications. A defendant may not use this privileged as a weapon, prejudicing his opponent’s case or, for self-serving reasons, to reveal some communications.Â An allegation, in fairness, proclaiming required questioning into attorney-client communications will get the inquiry requested. In this case, Bilzerian sought to allege a good faith defense but was not permitted to be questioned as to how he arrived at this belief. The district court was proper in denying this motion, seeing as this was not a suitable expectation. Affirmed.
His conversations with counsel regarding the legality of his schemes would have been directly relevant in determining the extent of his knowledge and, as a result, his intent.View Full Point of Law