Disciplinary Counsel v. Snaider
The "required records" doctrine provides an exception to the prohibition against the compelled production of documents. Allegedly, the respondent attorney, Benson Snaider, has been accused of misuse of funds in his clients' trust account, and criminal charges remain unresolved. Disciplinary counsel requested the production of the respondent attorney's IOLTA records from 2005 to the present. The respondent refused to produce them and argued that he possesses a Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. The Fifth Amendment provides, "No person shall be . . . compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself." The court found that the "required records" exception applied. The required records exception applies if: 1.) the purpose of the government's inquiry is essentially regulatory; 2.) information is to be obtained from records that the regulated party customarily keeps; and 3.) the records possess public aspects that render them analogous to public documents. "[D]isciplinary counsel," wrote the court, "is seeking documents which are required to be preserved for regulatory purposes, namely auditing to ensure compliance with the rules of professional conduct." Also, some of the information related to the IOLTA account is public. The court ordered the respondent attorney to produce IOLTA records from 2005 to the present.