The question in this case is whether the attorney-client privilege covers an attorney’s communication to a client about a public court date. This case arose after the petitioner, defense attorney Shannon Sweeney, refused to disclose her communication with a client who had failed to show up to a mandatory pre-trial conference and was consequently charged with bail jumping. The State subpoenaed Sweeney for the communications and documents between Sweeney and her client to prove the required knowledge element in the client’s felony bail jumping case, but Sweeney has asserted that any communication with her client is protected under the attorney-client privilege.
This case is significant because it will help define the scope of Montana’s unique attorney-client privilege. Sweeney now asks the Montana Supreme Court to issue a Writ of Supervisory Control to advise the district court whether this particular type of communication is protected by the attorney-client privilege.
Jasmine Morton, Oral Argument Preview, Precap: Sweeney v. 3rd Judicial District, 79 Mont. L. Rev. Online 1, https://scholarship.law.umt.edu/mlr_online/vol79/iss1/1.