With many legal matters, there may be facts or circumstances that you’re uncomfortable discussing with others, as they might cause embarrassment, shame, or other negative emotions. It’s essential, though, that you fully disclose all relevant information to your lawyer if you want the best chance of a fair and just outcome. You can rest assured that all communications related to your legal problem will remain private.
Under the rules of ethics that all lawyers must follow, certain communications with a client are protected and may not be disclosed to outside parties without authorization. Known as the “attorney-client privilege,” this rule applies whenever there is a lawyer-client relationship, as defined by law. In certain circumstances, the privilege has been interpreted by the courts to apply to potential, as well as existing, clients.
The privilege applies, though, only to communications made “for the purpose of obtaining or providing legal assistance.” Accordingly, comments or conversations on unrelated issues typically are not protected.
Be Honest and Open with Your Lawyer
The goal of the attorney-client privilege is to encourage and promote “full and frank communication,” so that legal matters are resolved based on the fullest understanding of the facts and other underlying issues. Accordingly, when you talk with your lawyer, you should fully, honestly, and accurately disclose all facts and information relevant to your case, so you can get the best outcome.