Special Rule of [Attorney Client] Privilege in Criminal Cases- Dead or Alive?

The Court of Criminal Appeal’s web site shows that an order deleting the special rule of attorney client privileges in criminal cases was signed on September 1st. (Click on the Order Amending Texas Rules of Evidence and Appellate Procedure Effective September 1, 2008 [pdf]).

This would be a surprise since in July COCA promised to table this deletion for at least 6 months. However, I can’t tell if COCA really deleted this important protection, or merely forget to update their website. Only time will tell. I tried checking the Texas Register with no luck.

To recap- earlier this year COCA proposed to delete this rule that has protected Texans since 1856. 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.

Here is a great summary from Keith Hampton on why 503(b)(2) is still essential to our justice system.

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