The Court of Criminal Appeals is moving to abolish the special rule of criminal attorney-client privilege. This would leave defendants with a much weaker protection currently only used in civil cases.
Here is the law COCA is seeking to abolish-
Texas Rule of Evidence 503(b)(2)
(2) Special rule of privilege in criminal cases. In criminal cases, a client has a privilege to prevent the lawyer or lawyer’s representative from disclosing any other fact which came to the knowledge of the lawyer or the lawyer’s representative by reason of the attorney-client relationship.
The Court of Criminal Appeals has ruled (see their proposal here) that this protection will be deleted on September 1st, 2008. COCA has made this decision without any public input. The Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association was only notified of this decision after it was made.
This special rule has protected Texans since 1856. There is no reason to change it. This letter by Federal Public Defender Richard Andersondocuments the history and case law surrounding 503(b)(2).
You Can Help
Let these judges know that you do not want 503(b)(2) deleted. The deadline for public comments on this proposal is June 30th. You are the public, and I need you to comment.
Here is their contact information-
Judge Cathy Cochran, mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Judge Tom Price, email@example.com
Judge Cheryl Johnson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Judge Larry Meyers, email@example.com
Judge Barbara Hervey, firstname.lastname@example.org
Judge Charles Holcomb, email@example.com
Or you may snail mail your letters to individual judges at:
Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, P.O. Box 12308, Capitol Station, Austin Texas 78711
It is bad enough that appellate judges rewrite the Constitution to destroy your rights, now they want to rewrite the rules of evidence.