What is Attorney-Client Privilege?
The phrase “attorney-client privilege” may have been used frequently on television or in movies. Unfortunately, many people have misconceptions about what the term actually implies as a result of this. We give a concise and uncomplicated explanation of the attorney-client privilege, how it works, and how it pertains to you while making a personal injury claim.
The original purpose of the attorney-client privilege was to promote communication between a lawyer and their client. Knowing that their talks with their attorney are confidential increases the likelihood that they will be open and honest with them. Additionally, it enables confidential communication between a client and an attorney regarding a case’s strategy.
Are All Communications Safe From Disclosure Under the Attorney-Client Privilege?
In essence, every correspondence between you and your attorney is private and confidential. It makes no difference if it’s a text message, email, or phone call. It is all shielded by the attorney-client privilege. If you’re unsure, it’s advisable to call and speak with your lawyer on the phone rather than sending anything in writing.
Only When There Is a Relationship Between an Attorney and a Client Does Attorney-Client Privilege Apply
An agreement that specifies the conditions of hiring a lawyer is the most common proof of an attorney-client relationship. But prospective clients will frequently be covered by the attorney-client privilege as well.
In most cases, sharing information with a friend or family member who also happens to be a lawyer does not give rise to an attorney-client privilege claim. Unless you are that lawyer’s client in some other way, just because you tell a lawyer about something doesn’t make it secret.
Advantages of Attorney-Client Confidentiality
You can benefit from a variety of advantages provided by the attorney-client privilege, including:
- You can talk openly about delicate issues.
- You can relax knowing that your lawyer will keep your conversations with them private.
- Anything that could jeopardize your case can be discussed openly with your attorney.
For instance, if you file a personal injury claim and disclose a pre-existing ailment, the insurance provider might use that information against you.
Telling your attorney information will not only be a secret, but you can also use it to your advantage when preparing your case.
This enables you to get ready for your battle with the insurance provider without disclosing any personal or claim-related details.
When Does Attorney-Client Privilege Not Apply?
Is there ever a time when the attorney-client privilege wouldn’t apply to something spoken in the context of a retainer agreement with a lawyer?
Maybe. The following are a few cases that apply:
- There is a third party in the conversation. If non-clients are privy to your conversations, the attorney-client privilege may not apply. A member of one’s own family is the most typical instance. A client may unwittingly give up their right to attorney-client privilege if a family member, such as a kid or parent, attends a meeting with their lawyer. The same holds true for including others in your email threads as recipients. This rule of thumb holds true regardless of whether or not the outsider is a witness in your case.
- You waive your right. You need to initiate the privilege claim yourself. Your lawyer may try to protect your privacy by using attorney-client privilege, but your attorney cannot prevent you from discussing your case with anyone. You give up your right to confidentiality when you share the contents of your interactions with your lawyer with anybody else.
- The lawyer needs to use the evidence to make their case. For example, if you sue your lawyer for negligence, she may be able to cite private communications you had with her in her defense.
- Someone is at immediate risk as a result of this knowledge. It is a serious breach of professional ethics for lawyers to withhold information that could cause serious bodily harm to a client. The lawyer has an obligation to notify the authorities if his or her client makes a credible threat of physical violence against another person.
It’s also crucial to remember that until you hire an attorney, the attorney-client privilege won’t shield any information you provide to them, no matter how personal or sensitive it may be.
Hire an Attorney
Our experienced Car Accident Lawyers can help you use attorney-client privilege to your advantage. If you were injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, contact The Brown Firm for a free case review today.
Ready to Talk to a Lawyer Who Has Your Back?
Contact The Brown Firm
Get the Answers and Compensation You Deserve
You’ll notice the difference when you contact The Brown Firm! Our local dedicated attorneys want to help you recover and rebuild.
Schedule your free consultation by calling (800) 529-1441 or completing our simple online form.