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Groth asks Supreme Court to order release of Pence emails

February 7, 2017

An Indianapolis lawyer is asking the Indiana Supreme Court to order the release of emails sent to Vice President Mike Pence when he was governor.

William Groth's appeal asks for access to emails sent to Pence in 2014 in which a staffer for Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott outlined a legal strategy for challenging then-President Barack Obama's executive order on immigration.

The Indiana Court of Appeals last month found the documents are privileged attorney-client communications. Groth's appeal, filed Monday, argues that Pence did not solicit legal advice from the Texas attorney, who is now that state's governor, and that they therefore have no privileged relationship to protect.

On his petition for transfer, in addition to seeking the emails, Groth asks whether the Court of Appeals improperly expanded the common interest doctrine to impose confidentiality on a communication that was not generated in an attorney-client relationship and that was shared outside the relationship with non-clients. Groth also wants the justices to determine whether the COA improperly expanded the deliberative materials exception in the public records law to include information received from outside an Indiana government agency.

The Associated Press left a message Tuesday seeking comment from Pence's attorney.

The Supreme Court has yet to decide whether it will consider the appeal.

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