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Discussion Questions

  1. Explain the difference between witness incompetency and witness privilege.

  2. What are the ways in which privilege may be waived?

  3. What are some of the rationales behind the creation of testimonial privileges? Name a source of controversy.

  4. Explain the three types of immunity.

  5. When are communications covered by the "marital communications privilege"? When are they not?

  6. What communications or actions between an attorney and his client are not protected by the attorney-client privilege?

  7. Explain shield laws. Who generally invokes them, and why?

  8. What is the purpose of the confidential informant privilege?

  9. What rule governs the conversation between parents if a child hears it? Explain.

  10. Explain what is meant by "the holder of the privilege."

  11. What is the purpose of the doctor-patient privilege? What are criticisms of this privilege?

  12. What is the purpose of the psychotherapist-patient privilege? What are criticisms of this privilege?

  13. What is the purpose of the state secrets privilege, and who may assert it? In what ways does it differ from other privileges?



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