Situations That May Make You Lose Your Attorney-Client Privilege Inadvertently
Attorney-client privilege ensures that your conversations with your lawyer remain confidential and cannot be shared with other parties, such as the authorities. The privilege extends to other people in your legal team or working for your attorney such as the paralegals, secretaries, and copyists. However, there are some simple actions that may expose your communications to others who are not bound by the privilege. Here are three examples of such actions:
Talking Loudly in Public
Speaking to your lawyer loudly, whether in person or on the phone, is never a good idea. Anybody who overhears your conversation may later testify against you in court. This is because your conversations with your attorney are only confidential if you have them in such a way that a reasonable person would expect the conversations to be confidential. This clearly isn't the case when you shout in a crowded bar, and the guy at the counter overhears your words.
Making Phone Calls from Jail
Jail phone calls can be monitored and even recorded. Whether or not the recordings are used against you depend on the circumstances and the court. For example, some courts are of the opinion that the conversations can be used against you as long as you were warned that your calls could be monitored or recorded.
Therefore, before you call to discuss your case with your lawyer or gossip with your brother, make sure that what you are about to say cannot come back to haunt you. Your lawyer will also advise you on what to avoid; follow his or her advice to the letter.
Inviting Acquaintances to Your Legal Meetings
Your communications with your lawyer are only confidential if they involve the two of you, or other third parties who are part of the attorney-client privilege. For example, if you hold a conversation with your lawyer and accountant, then the accountant is also brought into the fold as far as confidentiality is concerned.
However, this may not be the case if you invite "strangers," people with no interest or part to play in your legal issue. For example, if you invite your brother to your meeting with your lawyer, then he or she may later testify against you without breaking the confidentiality agreement with your lawyer.
Of course, you can always rely on your attorney to fight for your rights. For example, in the example of an invited brother, your lawyer can argue that he or she wasn't exactly a "stranger" but was an integral player in your legal discussions. Inform your lawyer if you suspect that somebody is trying to breach this privilege.
For more information, contact the Law Offices Of Timothy J Ormes or a similar firm.