Attorney-client privilege – we’ve all heard this term before. It has been the premise of movies; Jokes are developed around it and some would say criminals rely on, and lawyers hide behind it.
But, do you know what attorney-client privilege really is and/or what it means?
Attorney-client privilege is a legal concept that protects certain communications between a client and his or her attorney, and keeps those communications confidential.
The idea behind attorney-client privilege is that in order for someone to receive adequate representation from their attorney, they need to be able to trust that attorney. Building trust between two individuals requires a level of familiarity you can only get when you feel completely comfortable with someone.
However, attorney-client privilege isn’t automatic. Communications between an attorney and his or her client aren’t confidential unless:
- The person is an actual client of the attorney or the person was attempting to become a client when he or she disclosed information.
- Attorney is a member, in good standing, of his or her state’s bar.
- Only the attorney and the client are present during the conversation.
- Communication has to do with a legal issue.
- Attorney must be acting in a legal capacity.
Even if all of those factors exist, there are still some exceptions to the attorney-client privilege:
- The client may waive his or her right to attorney-client privilege, as it was created to protect the client, thus it belongs to the client.
- If the conversation could have been or was overheard in a public place.
- If the information discussed was in contemplation of an upcoming crime.
To advise a client properly, an attorney must have a complete knowledge of the facts, including any “bad” or “damaging” facts. Only then can he or she fully defend against the other side. Therefore, attorney-client privilege is a very important part of the legal system.
If you or someone you love suffered a personal injury and must retain an attorney, you need to be remember that your lawyer is on your side. Be honest with him, so he can give you the best advice possible. Call me for a FREE consultation anytime at 1 (800) 556-4769.
Author: Tim Misny | For over 34 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injury, medical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at email@example.com or call at 1 (800) 556-4769.