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Mohawk Industries, Inc. v. Norman Carpenter

Close Date: 12/08/2009
Topic(s): Court Procedure, Federal Jurisdiction, and Appellate Jurisdiction
Status: closed
Docket: 08-678

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Description:

This case concerned about the extent to which corporations seeking to conceal evidence through claims of corporate attorney-client privilege could drag a case through the appeals process, in the midst of litigation. We represented Norman Carpenter, who alleges that Mohawk Industries, through its lawyers, tried to intimidate him and prevent him from giving truthful testimony in a pending class action against Mohawk concerning allegations of unfair labor practices. Mohawk tried to keep out evidence of the intimidation based on the attorney-client privilege, but the trial court overruled Mohawk’s objection.

The question before the Supreme Court was whether Mohawk could immediately appeal the privilege ruling in the federal courts. In a unanimous decision by Justice Sotomayor issued in December 2009, the Supreme Court agreed with Public Citizen that Mohawk was not entitled to an immediate appeal.