Spousal / Marital Privileges

Spousal / Marital Privileges

In United States v. Brock, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 15574 (7th Cir. 2013). here, [enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers], the Seventh Circuit offers a good summary of the marital privileges that can be invoked to prevent one spouse from testifying adversely to the other. The opinion is a good succinct read.

After I read the opinion, I revised portions of my discussion of the privileges involved. My discussion is more wordy, but covers more ground. I recommend that readers read the opinion first and then, if still interested, readers might read the following which is the revised text without the footnotes (I do not indent the entire cut and paste, since all of it is from my books):

G. Spousal Privileges.

1. General Justification for Spousal Privileges.

The general societal value supported by the spousal privileges is the integrity of the marriage unit. The justification for the particular subset of marital privileges are usually more fine-tuned than that, focusing on the nature of the testimony, its potential adverse effect on the marriage unit or marriage in general, and harm to society that justifies the privilege to deny access to information in dispensing justice. For present purposes, readers should just recall that it is the marital unit and the societal value of fostering the marital unit that justifies these privileges.

View Jack Townsend's opinion in its entirety on the Federal Tax Crimes blog site.

For additional insight, explore Tax Crimes, authored by Jack Townsend and available at the LexisNexis® Store

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