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What is attorney-client privilege?

On Behalf of | Jul 31, 2020 | Legal Malpractice

If you hire an attorney, you will gain something called attorney-client privilege. This right comes when you begin your attorney-client relationship.

Cornell Law School explains the concept of this privilege is that any communication between you and your attorney is secret.

Protected by law

You gain protection under the law to be able to say anything and talk about anything with your attorney without having the fear that what you say can later become evidence against you. Regardless of what you say, your attorney cannot share the information with anyone else. If he or she breaks the privilege, then the attorney can face serious professional reprimands, including losing his or her right to practice law.

The concept allows you to get adequate legal representation and lets you be completely honest with your attorney without the concern that you could harm your own legal case. In addition, it allows your attorney to focus on helping you and not have to abandon his or her commitment to upholding the law.

Even before hiring the attorney

The attorney-client privilege may also exist even before you officially hire an attorney. The Model Rules of Professional Conduct state that if you seek legal advice and the attorney provides it as usable advice, then you gain the privilege even if you do not hire the attorney or pay for the advice.

In general, you need to establish that the attorney has given you advice as a legal professional with the intention that you will use that advice to act. Once that relationship occurs, you gain the right to have anything you say to that attorney remain only between you and the attorney.

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