Thursday, May 12, 2016


In the height of arrogance, the Panama law firm of Mossack and Fonseca has publicly threatened to sue the media sources that broke the "Panama Papers" story, claiming attorney-client privilege. Perhaps the partners need to go back to law school, for the Crime or Fraud Exception specifically provides that, when a lawyer is engaged in criminal conduct with his clients,  even if he is unaware that he is participating in a crime, the privilege does not apply. The firm cannot hide behind the shield of confidentiality, when it facilitates criminal activity, and is also willfully blind.

It might be relevant to make the observation at this time that most of the corporation work is done by the large staff of paralegal assistants, and legal secretaries. Many clients do not have contact with  a lawyer, nor are they personally counseled by one, regarding their rights and responsibilities. They just get a huge bill from a staff member before leaving the office, often for a BVI company, which was formed by financial services staff in Roadtown, Tortola.

I also note that the "underground" branch offices, which are in principal cities around the world, do not feature an attorney on staff. Perhaps the Mossack firm might like to explain how the privilege applies when there's no lawyer around,

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