Pillsbury Company v. Conboy

PETITIONER:Pillsbury Company

DOCKET NO.: 81-825
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1981-1986)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

CITATION: 459 US 248 (1983)
ARGUED: Oct 06, 1982
DECIDED: Jan 11, 1983

Francis J. Mc Connell – on behalf of the Petitioners
Francis J. McConnell – on behalf of petitioners
Michael W. Coffield – on behalf of the Respondent

Facts of the case


Media for Pillsbury Company v. Conboy

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument – October 06, 1982 in Pillsbury Company v. Conboy

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement – January 11, 1983 in Pillsbury Company v. Conboy

Lewis F. Powell, Jr.:

In the second case, Number 81-825, the Pillsbury Company against Conboy, this case presents a question involving the Fifth Amendment privilege against self incrimination and the federal statute that authorizes the granting of use immunity or testimony that otherwise would be protected.

As an extended oral summary of the case would not be informative, I will merely frame the question and state our disposition of it.

Respondent had been granted use immunity for his grand jury testimony in a criminal antitrust case.

Subsequently, a civil suit was brought by the petitioners.

They sought to have respondent, when taking his deposition, repeat verbatim or closely track his prior immunized testimony.

Respondent claimed the Fifth Amendment privilege.

The District Court rejected the claim.

The Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reversed the District Court.

It held that the prior immunity did not carry over to the civil deposition.

We affirm the judgment of the Court of Appeals.

We hold in the absence of a duly authorized grant of immunity at the time that respondent could not be compelled over a valid Fifth Amendment claim to repeat his earlier testimony.

Our reasoning for these conclusions are set forth fully in an opinion filed this morning with the clerk.

Justice Marshall has filed a concurring opinion.

Justices Brennan and Blackmun have filed opinions concurring in the judgment and Justice Stevens has filed a dissenting opinion joined by Justice O’Connor.

Warren E. Burger:

Thank you, Justice Powell.