By Bryan C. Skarlatos
Journal of Tax Practice & Procedure
December 2014 - January 2015 Edition
The attorney client privilege is a well-known common law rule of evidence and a fundamental element of the relationship between an attorney and a client. Th e privilege was developed “to encourage full and frank communication between attorneys and their clients and thereby promote broader public interests in the observance of law and administration of justice.” 1 Despite its noble purpose, the privilege is not nearly as broad as many people believe. A recent Tax Court case illustrates how the privilege can easily be waived with respect to a tax opinion whenever a taxpayer asserts a defense to an accuracy-related penalty that is based on the taxpayer’s state of mind.