Civil Aeronautics Board v. Air Transport Association of America

Decision Date03 October 1961
Docket NumberCiv. A. No. 3214-60.
Citation201 F. Supp. 318
CourtU.S. District Court — District of Columbia

David C. Acheson, U. S. Atty., and Harold D. Rhynedance, Jr., Asst. U. S. Atty., for plaintiff.

George W. Wise, Washington, D. C., for defendant.

HOLTZOFF, District Judge.

This is a proceeding to enforce an administrative subpoena duces tecum issued by the Civil Aeronautics Board during the course of an investigation of defendant, a trade association of air carriers. The defendant declined to produce the documents called for on the ground that they were covered by the attorney-client privilege. The plaintiff moved for summary judgment, claiming that the attorney-client privilege may not be validly interposed against plaintiff by defendant or its members in the course of an investigation by plaintiff authorized by Sections 204, 407 and 415 of the Federal Aviation Act, (49 U.S. C.A. §§ 1324, 1377, and 1385).

The Court has reached the conclusion that this case has not as yet reached a stage at which it can be finally disposed of by a summary judgment. However, a partial summary judgment may be appropriately rendered in accordance with Rule 56(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, 28 U.S.C.A.

The Court is of the opinion that the attorney-client privilege may be asserted in the proceeding pending before the Civil Aeronautics Board and involved in this action. The attorney-client privilege is deeply imbedded and is part of the warp and woof of the common law. In order to abrogate it in whole or in part as to any proceeding whatsoever, affirmative legislative action would be required that is free from ambiguity. The very existence of the right of counsel necessitates the attorney-client privilege in order that a client and his attorney may communicate between themselves freely and confidentially.

Whether the privilege may be asserted as to any particular document involved in this case or any particular group of documents depends upon the specific facts surrounding the origin and the existence of the document in question. The question involves, for example the nature of the relation of the parties between whom the document passes, whether the document itself relates to a matter involving representation of counsel, as well as other considerations. Accordingly, the Court is of the opinion that to indicate what types of documents would or would not be within...

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4 cases
  • Southern Cal. Gas Co. v. Public Utilities Com., S006168
    • United States
    • California Supreme Court
    • January 29, 1990
    ... ... (See Cal.Civil Practice Act, Stats. 1851, ch. 5, §§ 395-399, ... of the district court in Civil Aeronautics Board v. Air Transport Association of America ... ...
  • Radiant Burners, Inc. v. American Gas Association
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Seventh Circuit
    • June 28, 1963
    ...927, 75 S.Ct. 339, 99 L.Ed. 726; Belanger v. Alton Box Board Co., 7 Cir., 180 F.2d 87, 93-94 (1950); Civil Aeronautics Board v. Air Transport Ass'n, D.C.D.C., 201 F.Supp. 318 (1961); United States v. Aluminum Company of America, D.C.N.D.N.Y., 193 F.Supp. 251 (1960); Wonneman v. Stratford Se......
  • Matter of OPM Leasing Services, Inc.
    • United States
    • U.S. Bankruptcy Court — Southern District of New York
    • June 10, 1981
    ...the attorney-client privilege, cf. Natta v. Hogan, 392 F.2d 686, 691 (10th Cir. 1968) (patent case); Civil Aeronautics Board v. Air Transport Associations, 201 F.Supp. 318 (D.D.C.1961) (C.A.B. Administrative hearing), but is determining where it roots in the context of a Chapter 11 reorgani......
  • United States v. Darby
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Eastern District of Pennsylvania
    • January 25, 1962
    ...201 F. Supp. 317 ... UNITED STATES of America ... James M. DARBY ... Crim. A. No. 61-295 ... ...

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