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.
Bryan C. Skarlatos Published in the Penalties: Journal of Tax Practice and Procedure, “Asserting State-of-Mind Defense to Accuracy-Related Penalty Waives Attorney-Client Privilege"
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