How Does Attorney Client Privilege Work?

Legal dramas are easily one of the most popular categories of entertainment. It’s theorized that this is because they give us a sense of universal truth, something the human mind is always scrambling for. But, legal drama is significantly less thrilling when you’re in the middle of it.

Studies have revealed that most people don’t trust lawyers, and assume that they don’t have their best interest in mind. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Winning your case is just as good for your lawyer as it is for you.

In addition, attorney client privilege and other similar protocols are in place to protect you from legal malpractice. To demystify the often confusing privilege, we put together this article. Read on to learn all about it!

Attorney Client Privilege Definition

Attorney client privilege is also called lawyer-client privilege. Under this common law principle, your attorneys cannot disclose any information you’ve told them.

So, any emails, letters, texts, and conversations you have with your attorney are confidential. Your lawyer cannot tell any information you’ve shared to anyone else.

You don’t even need a formal retainer. As long as you believe you’re consulting the lawyer for legal advice, the attorney client privilege applies.

The reason for this law is simple – clients are more likely to divulge information that will help their case if they know that they’re protected from the information getting out. It allows your attorney to craft the best possible case.

Limits of Attorney Client Privilege

When speaking with an attorney about past crimes, everything you say is protected. For example, you can tell your lawyer that you robbed a bank and they are required to keep that information private.

However, if you tell an attorney that you plan to rob a bank in the future, the attorney client privilege does not apply. In fact, most states have a law in place that requires attorneys to disclose any information they learned that could prevent injury, death, or financial injury.

Breaking Privilege

A lawyer will rarely break privilege. Doing so risks their career and could ruin their life.

If you’re working with an attorney and you share something that makes them uncomfortable handling your case, they will simply recuse themselves. After they leave the case, your information is still confidential because it was divulged while they were your legal counsel.

If a lawyer does break privilege, at a minimum they will be greatly embarrassed and their reputation will be damaged. They’ll likely also lose clients. No one wants to work with an attorney who doesn’t understand this basic principle.

In addition, the lawyer will likely be fired. They’ll also be open to lawsuits from both the client and their former employer.

Attorney Client Privilege Protects Your Interests

Attorney client privilege is in place to protect your interests and the interests of your lawyer by allowing you to build the strongest case possible. It’s intended to facilitate trust and foster a stronger partnership. So, when consulting with a lawyer, rest assured that the law is on your side.

For more interesting and insightful articles like this one, check out our blog!

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