Attorney-Client Privilege: Consulting with Accountants and Other Experts; and the Use of Kovel Letters
Originally published in the Winter 2016 edition of Michigan Tax Lawyer:
Throughout the course of either litigation or a business transaction, a legal issue may arise in which a taxpayer may need to provide personal and business information to his or her attorney. Taxpayers are able to obtain legal assistance and can feel confident in disclosing such information to their attorney, because such disclosures are confidential and subject to the attorney-client privilege.
When attorneys require the assistance of third-party experts to sort through a problem, the attorney or the taxpayer may be required to disclose confidential information to the expert. In the area of tax practice, privilege issues are prevalent – and relatively obvious – due to the often fine line between a civil tax case and a criminal tax defense matter, and the frequent need to consult third parties, like accountants, for assistance with respect to accounting or tax analysis.
This article outlines considerations for structuring an expert engagement to maximize attorney client privilege protections. Read the article in its entirety: Michigan Tax Lawyer: Attorney-Client Privilege: Consulting with Accountants and Other Experts; and the Use of Kovel Letters
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