Joseph Lanza, while in the Westchester County New York jail, had an interview in the counsel room with his attorney. This interview was secretly “bugged” by state officers and a tape recording of the communication was made. A New York State Joint Legislative Committee, with a view towards investigating the operation of state government, investigated the parole violation of Lanza. The Committee announced that it was planning to make public the recording of the interview between Lanza and his attorney. Lanza and the attorney brought suit to enjoin the disclosure. The Supreme Court at Special Term denied a motion to dismiss the complaint and granted a temporary injunction. The Appellate Division reversed the temporary injunction and dismissed the complaint. Appellants appealed to the Court of Appeals of New York. Under these facts the only issue was whether the complaint stated sufficient grounds for relief. The Court of Appeals held that there was no violation of the attorney-client privilege in the proposed use of the recording and found no grounds to enjoin the Committee action. Appellants claimed that the use and divulgence of the recording would violate the attorney-client privilege under the New York Civil Practice Act, sections 353 and 354.
W. C. Nelson Jr.,
Attorney-Client Privilege—Admission in Legislative Hears,
37 Neb. L. Rev. 472
Available at: https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/nlr/vol37/iss2/10