Many people are concerned when they hire a lawyer for the first time that they will somehow give up their right to privacy. They think the information they divulge, conversations they engage in, intimate details they share, and anything else they say could be used against them later. Fortunately, a law known as attorney-client privilege prevents this from happening.
While there are some exceptions (discussed below), attorney-client privilege keeps everything you and your attorney discuss confidential. Nothing said between an attorney and the client can be disclosed without the client’s written consent.
This is huge considering the growing concerns in our society over privacy — especially when seeking legal advice.
Attorney-client privilege can cover any of the following conversations and other communications:
- In-person conversations
- Email communication
- Phone calls
- Text messages
The benefits of attorney-client privilege are that you can discuss any aspect of your case without fear that 1. Your attorney will voluntarily share it with anyone else, or 2. The opposing party will request the information at any point. This frees you AND your attorney up to be open and upfront about your situation, the details of your case, and potential next steps.
By being upfront and honest with your attorney, you are giving them the best chance to deal with any issue that arises throughout your case, build a strong case in your favor, and seek out the best possible outcome for you and your family.
So what are the exceptions to attorney-client privilege?
Attorney-client privilege does not apply in the following instances:
- To aid in crime or fraud — If a client hires a lawyer or seeks out their services in an attempt to commit or plan to commit crime or fraud, then any conversations between them and the lawyer would not be protected. This includes situations where the client reasonably should have known what they are attempting is a crime or fraud.
- Claimants through same deceased client — Attorney-client privilege also does not apply if the communication is relevant to an issue between parties claiming through the same deceased client.
- Breach of duty by the lawyer or client — If a lawyer breaches their duty to the client, or the client breaches their duty to the lawyer, then any communications between them would not be protected under this law.
- Document attested by a lawyer — If the lawyer is an attesting witness related to an issue concerning an attested document, the communication can be shared.
- Joint clients — This exception comes into play if the communication A. Is offered between clients who retained or consulted the same lawyer, B. Was made by any of the clients to the lawyer, and C. Is a matter where the clients have a common interest.
Call Nelson Law Group Today!!
When it comes to any legal dispute, whether you are taking someone else to court or not, it is always a good idea to talk to a lawyer about your situation. Give our knowledgeable staff here at Nelson Law Group, PC, a call if you have any further questions regarding this or any other issue.
Give us a call today! For more information about Brett A. Nelson, click here.