Project Description

Image of the 5th Amendment

DISCLAIMER: This In Brief section offers a series of business, real estate, employment, estate planning and tax bulletins prepared by the attorneys at Fauver, Large,  Archbald & Spray, LLP. This is not exhaustive, nor is it legal advice. You should discuss your particular situation with us or with your own attorney. Our legal representation is only undertaken through a written engagement letter and not by the distribution or use of this information.

Q:  Can a single-member corporation or LLC assert the Fifth Amendment to avoid self-incrimination?

In the recent Ninth Circuit case In re Twelve Grand Jury Subpoenas, the court unequivocally held that the prohibition against individuals claiming a Fifth Amendment privilege to avoid producing corporate records they possess in a representative capacity extends to solely-owned corporations or LLCs. This is true even if the records may be personally incriminating and the person subpoenaed is the corporation or LLC’s sole shareholder or member. The court reasoned that if a person decides to incorporate themselves because of the many business advantages, they have to live with the disadvantages as well.

Ian Midiere, Attorney

For more information, visit our Civil Litigation and Trials Practice Area.