Holifield v. U.S., No. 88-2757

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore BAUER, Chief Judge, and EASTERBROOK and KANNE; KANNE
Citation909 F.2d 201
Parties-5412, 59 USLW 2168, 90-2 USTC P 50,423 Dallas L. HOLIFIELD, Petitioner-Appellant, v. UNITED STATES of America, Respondent-Appellee.
Decision Date26 July 1990
Docket NumberNo. 88-2757

Page 201

909 F.2d 201
66 A.F.T.R.2d 90-5412, 59 USLW 2168, 90-2
USTC P 50,423
Dallas L. HOLIFIELD, Petitioner-Appellant,
v.
UNITED STATES of America, Respondent-Appellee.
No. 88-2757.
United States Court of Appeals,
Seventh Circuit.
Argued Sept. 29, 1989.
Decided July 26, 1990.

Page 202

Janice A. Rhodes, K. Scott Wagner, Kravit, Waisbren & Debruin, Milwaukee, Wis., for petitioner-appellant.

Patricia J. Gorence, Asst. U.S. Atty., Milwaukee, Wis., Gary R. Allen, William S. Rose, Jr., Asst. Atty. Gen., Charles E. Brookhart, Joel A. Rabinovitz, Dept. of

Page 203

Justice, Tax Div., Appellate Section, Washington, D.C., for respondent-appellee.

Before BAUER, Chief Judge, and EASTERBROOK and KANNE, Circuit Judges.

KANNE, Circuit Judge.

Petitioner-appellant, Dallas Holifield, challenges the propriety of the district court's dismissal of his petition to quash an IRS summons for the production of documents which had been served upon his attorney. 689 F.Supp. 865. He argues, as he did below: (1) that the information requested by the summons is protected by the attorney-client privilege; (2) that the enforcement of the summons will jeopardize his sixth amendment right to counsel; and, (3) that the issuance of the summons itself constituted an abuse of the summons process in that the IRS did not comply with safeguards established by the Department of Justice for the issuance of a grand jury subpoena to an attorney. We affirm.

I.

John Morgan, a Special Agent for the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, was investigating the federal tax liabilities of Dallas Holifield for the years 1983 through 1986. Under the authority granted in Secs. 7601 and 7602 of the Internal Revenue Code (the "Code"), Agent Morgan served a summons upon Martin Kohler, Holifield's attorney, directing him to produce certain documents relevant to that investigation. 1 Under Sec. 7609(b)(2) of the Code, Holifield petitioned the district court to quash the summons. He argued that the enforcement of this summons would jeopardize the attorney-client privilege as well as his sixth amendment right to counsel and that the issuance of the summons constituted an abuse of the summons process. The IRS submitted a motion to dismiss Holifield's petition to quash which was granted by the district court. The district court subsequently ordered compliance with the summons, excluding from the third production request Mr. Kohler's written statements, private memoranda, and personal recollections prepared or formed in the course of his legal duties. Petitioner appeals from that final decision.

II.

Holifield raises three challenges to the enforcement of this IRS summons. We address each challenge in turn.

A. The Attorney-Client Privilege

Holifield's initial challenge to the enforcement of the IRS summons argues that it requests too much. Specifically, he maintains, as he did in his petition to quash, that certain documents requested by the summons are protected by the attorney-client privilege and, as such, are not subject to the investigatory authority granted to the IRS under Sec. 7602. We note initially that the issue raised by Holifield is not whether the otherwise broad information-gathering authority granted to the IRS under Sec. 7602 is subject to the attorney-client privilege; the fact that it is has already been firmly established. United States v. Euge, 444 U.S. 707, 714, 100 S.Ct. 874, 879, 63 L.Ed.2d 141 (1980). Rather, the issue which Holifield posits is whether the specific information requested by the IRS in this summons is protected by the attorney-client privilege. See Upjohn Co. v. United States, 449 U.S. 383, 396, 101 S.Ct. 677, 686, 66 L.Ed.2d 584 (1981) ("the recognition of a privilege based on a confidential relationship ... should be determined on a case-by-case basis") (quoting S.Rep. No. 93-1277, p. 13 (1974), U.S.Code

Page 204

Cong. & Admin.News 1974, pp. 7051, 7059). We need not address the merits of this issue, however, in light of our conclusion that Holifield has failed as a threshold matter to properly raise the question of whether these documents are covered by the attorney-client privilege. See United States v. First State Bank, 691 F.2d 332, 335 n. 2 (7th Cir.1982).

In his Petition to Quash the IRS summons, Holifield's assertion that the requested documents were "protected by the attorney-client privilege" was supported only by brief conclusory summations as to why each of the three production requests was so protected. Holifield did not address the applicability of the privilege with respect to each individual document he sought to exclude, nor did he set forth any "specific facts" to support his legal conclusions. This type of "blanket objection" will not suffice to support a claim that the attorney-client privilege prohibits the production of documents.

This aspect of the taxpayer's burden in asserting the attorney-client privilege in this...

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45 practice notes
  • Towne Place Condo. Ass'n v. Phila. Indem. Ins. Co., No. 17 C 1561
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court (Northern District of Illinois)
    • January 11, 2018
    ...of judicial time and resources, as well as tactical manipulation of the rules and the discovery process. See Holifield v. United States , 909 F.2d 201, 204 (7th Cir. 1990) ; In re Subpoena to Produce Documents of Clapp, Moroney, Bellagamba, Vucinich, Beeman & Scheley , 2014 WL 3784112, at *......
  • U.S. v. Bernhoft, Case No. 08-C-0515.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court of Eastern District of Wisconsin
    • October 28, 2009
    ...334 (7th Cir. 1992). Consequently, the Seventh Circuit generally forbids blanket assertions of privilege. See Holifield v. United States, 909 F.2d 201, 204 (7th Cir.1990) (holding that assertions for blanket attorney-client privilege that "[do] not address the applicability of the privilege......
  • U.S. v. Goldberger & Dubin, P.C., Nos. 676
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • June 7, 1991
    ...procedural safeguards governing the issuance of subpoenas to attorneys in grand jury proceedings. See Holifield v. United States, 909 F.2d 201, 205 (7th Cir.1990). The subpoena power was exercised properly in the instant Affirmed. --------------- * United States District Judge for the Easte......
  • U.S. v. Bdo Seidman, No. 02-3914.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • July 23, 2003
    ...great latitude to verify compliance with these tax shelter registration and list-keeping provisions. See also Holifield v. United States, 909 F.2d 201, 205 (7th Cir. 1990). Nevertheless, despite these powerful investigative tools, the IRS' investigatory power is not absolute. If a taxpayer ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
45 cases
  • Towne Place Condo. Ass'n v. Phila. Indem. Ins. Co., No. 17 C 1561
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court (Northern District of Illinois)
    • January 11, 2018
    ...of judicial time and resources, as well as tactical manipulation of the rules and the discovery process. See Holifield v. United States , 909 F.2d 201, 204 (7th Cir. 1990) ; In re Subpoena to Produce Documents of Clapp, Moroney, Bellagamba, Vucinich, Beeman & Scheley , 2014 WL 3784112, at *......
  • U.S. v. Bernhoft, Case No. 08-C-0515.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court of Eastern District of Wisconsin
    • October 28, 2009
    ...334 (7th Cir. 1992). Consequently, the Seventh Circuit generally forbids blanket assertions of privilege. See Holifield v. United States, 909 F.2d 201, 204 (7th Cir.1990) (holding that assertions for blanket attorney-client privilege that "[do] not address the applicability of the privilege......
  • U.S. v. Goldberger & Dubin, P.C., Nos. 676
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • June 7, 1991
    ...procedural safeguards governing the issuance of subpoenas to attorneys in grand jury proceedings. See Holifield v. United States, 909 F.2d 201, 205 (7th Cir.1990). The subpoena power was exercised properly in the instant Affirmed. --------------- * United States District Judge for the Easte......
  • U.S. v. Bdo Seidman, No. 02-3914.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • July 23, 2003
    ...great latitude to verify compliance with these tax shelter registration and list-keeping provisions. See also Holifield v. United States, 909 F.2d 201, 205 (7th Cir. 1990). Nevertheless, despite these powerful investigative tools, the IRS' investigatory power is not absolute. If a taxpayer ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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