Trump-Appointed Alabama Judge Threatens Imprisonment for LGBTQ+ Rights Lawyers

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Alabama judge threatens LGBTQ+ rights lawyers with imprisonment

Judge Orders Disclosure of Privileged Document

A federal judge in Alabama, appointed by Donald Trump, has issued a stern warning to several prominent LGBTQ+ civil rights lawyers. U.S. District Judge Liles Burke, overseeing the case Boe v. Marshall, which challenges Alabama’s ban on gender-affirming care for minors, threatened to jail these lawyers if they fail to comply with his order. This development was reported by Chris Geidner of Law Dork.

Dispute Over Attorney-Client Privilege

Judge Burke’s unexpected order demands that the lawyers hand over a Q&A document by 5 p.m. Central on Monday. The attorneys argue that this document is protected by attorney-client privilege. However, Burke suggested that the document might be exempt from this privilege under the crime-fraud exception. If the lawyers do not comply, they face monetary sanctions and possible imprisonment.

Background of the Q&A Document

The Q&A document in question was prepared by the attorneys for an earlier case, Walker v. Marshall, at the request of their counsel, Barry Ragsdale. This document was designed to help prepare for a hearing before a three-judge panel investigating allegations of judge-shopping. It includes potential questions and suggested responses to assist the attorneys in their testimony during the inquiry.

Legal and Ethical Implications

The judge’s order has sparked significant controversy, as it challenges the boundaries of attorney-client privilege. The outcome of this dispute could have far-reaching implications for legal protections and the rights of attorneys to confidentially prepare their cases. As the attorneys fight back against the order, the legal community is closely watching how this case will unfold.

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