"unbalanced and often inaccurate press reports about [Stewart] created a clear risk that the prosecutors and regulator conducting the various investigations would feel public pressure to bring some kind of charges."Not surprisingly, the government subpoenaed witnesses and documents from Brunswick regarding its representation of Ms. Stewart. Brunswick employees declined to appear or provide the subpoenaed documents on the ground that the information sought by the grand jury had been generated in the course of Brunswick's engagement by Ms. Stewart's lawyers, as part of their defense of Ms. Stewart, and were therefore protected by the attorney-client privilege and constituted attorney work product.
"some of their most fundamental client functions - such as (a) advising the client of the legal risks of speaking publicly and of the likely legal impact of possible alternative expressions, (b) seeking to avoid or narrow charges brought against the client, and (c) zealously seeking acquital or vindication - would be undermined seriously if lawyers were not able to engage in frank discussions of facts and strategies with the lawyers' public relations consultants."According to the court,
"there is no practical way for such discussions to occur with the public relations consultants if the lawyers were not able to inform the consultants of at least some non-public facts, as well as the lawyers' defense tactics, free of the fear the consultants could be forced to disclose those discussions."
1) Confidential communications
2) Between lawyers, the client, and public relations consultants
3) Hired by the lawyers to assist them in dealing with the media in cases such as this one
4) That are made for the purpose of giving or receiving advice
5) Directed at handling the client's legal problemsApplying this test, the court protected all but two conversations between Ms. Stewart and Brunswick - one where Ms. Stewart asked Brunswick for its opinion of a day's particularly heavy media coverage and the second when the discussion concerned a problem with a wire service story.