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Attorney-Client Privilege & How It Can Affect Your Case

Many people’s knowledge of attorney-client privilege comes from movies and TV shows. The lawyer can’t tell other people the details of conversations between them and their client. But are all discussions between attorneys and their clients protected? How does attorney-client privilege affect your case when you decide to take it to court?

Privilege Defined

In legal terms, privilege is a protection. Privilege keeps third parties from finding out the details of conversations between attorneys and clients when they relate to a legal matter. When that privilege applies, your attorney cannot be forced to reveal what you said to them in confidence, and they cannot be compelled to testify against you.

When Does It Apply?

For a conversation to fall under attorney-client privilege, it must meet a few requirements, including:

  • The conversation must occur between an attorney and a client, or even a potential client.
  • You must have sought legal advice from the attorney.
  • The attorney must have acted in a professional capacity at the time.
  • You must have expected that the details of your discussion would remain between you.

The attorney-client relationship is the key here. If you made friendly conversation with someone who happened to be an attorney, that discussion is not privileged. However, if you showed interest in retaining their services and asked about a specific legal matter, privilege begins to apply.

The glaring exception to this rule is if you are planning to commit a crime. If you ask an attorney for legal advice regarding something illegal you’re about to do, they are required to report it.

Privilege and Your Case

Your attorney will need as much information from you as possible in order to argue your case effectively. Attorney-client privilege exists to encourage clients to be forthcoming and completely honest with the person representing them. Being open in privileged conversations with your lawyer can only help you.

Let’s say your child sustained an injury during delivery, and you hire an Idaho birth injury attorney to seek justice from the hospital. You can speak freely with your attorney about any complications during the pregnancy, as well as the environment in the delivery room. The more information your attorney has, the more effectively than can represent you.

However, the other side also has a right to attorney-client privilege. The party or parties liable for your child’s birth injury may admit to their attorneys that they made a mistake, but you’ll never know. Your attorney cannot compel the other side to break that privilege; that confidentiality must be afforded to both sides.

When you enlist the help of an attorney from Rossman Law Group, you become our client. Conversations between you and your attorney will remain strictly confidential. Attorney-client privilege can affect your case in positive ways; you can trust the team at Rossman Law.