Local News

Legal Battle Over Attorney-Client Privilege Headed To State Court Of Appeals

Posted March 15, 2002

— A Wake County attorney who may have crucial information about the murder of his client is making some legal moves to avoid talking.

On Wednesday, a judge signed an order giving Richard Gammon's lawyers a chance to appeal to the state Court of Appeals.

Gammon's client, Derril Willard, committed suicide after investigators searched his home looking for information related to the case of poisoned UNC researcher Eric Miller. Last week, Judge Donald Stephens ordered Gammon to tell him everything he and Willard discussed pertaining to the case.

Gammon's attorneys claim forcing him to talk would violate the attorney-client privilege.

"Our argument is going to be exactly the same as it was at the superior court level. That is, that privilege survives death, and no one can compel Rick Gammon or any other attorney to divulge the attorney-client privilege," said David Long, Gammon's attorney.

The district attorney and Miller's family claim solving the murder may rest on what Gammon knows.

Last week, the district attorney released a document that romantically linked Willard and Miller's wife, Ann.

WRAL caught up with Ann Miller in Wilmington Wednesday, but she refused to talk about the case.

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