MONTGOMERY, Alabama — Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange has announced his state is spearheading a coalition that involves 12 other states in opposing the Obama administration’s proposed Persuader Advice Exemption Rule.
This rule could force small businesses to disclose communications with outside counsel in labor relations matters. Strange and 12 other attorneys general drafted a letter of opposition, stating the rule would undermine longstanding protections for attorney-client privilege. Additionally, these attorneys general believe the rule could place undue burdens on small businesses.
“For more than 50 years, the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (“LMRDA”) has preserved the confidentiality of attorney-client communications by exempting attorney advice relating to labor relations issues from disclosure generally, and specifically, by exempting confidential attorney-client interactions,” the attorneys general wrote. “This new rule, however, would undermine these protections by requiring the reporting of advice related to the persuasion of employees, regardless of whether the lawyers who provide the advice communicate with anyone other than their clients.”
Attorneys general signing the letter included those from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota and West Virginia.