An important part of a client’s relationship with an attorney is being able to be completely honest. Your information and conversations are confidential through attorney–client privilege. But you may have questions about what that term really means and how well it protects your privacy.
What Is Attorney–Client Privilege?
According to attorney-client Rule 1.6 of the Georgia Bar, your lawyer is under professional obligation not to disclose any information which:
- Might be embarrassing
- Might be harmful to your case
- You have asked to keep confidential
Unless you give informed consent, your lawyer cannot legally share confidential information. Generally, anything you tell your lawyer in confidence will stay between you and your lawyer.
The Attorney–Client Relationship
To ensure that you receive the best possible legal representation, your lawyer needs you to be honest with him about the facts of your case. Even if these facts are embarrassing or incriminating, they may be crucial and help your lawyer better defend you in court.
From the moment you tell a lawyer about your case and decide to retain him, you are protected by attorney–client privilege. Additionally, attorney–client privilege keeps you safe even after your relationship with your lawyer has ended.
Exceptions to the Rule
Part of your role as client is acknowledging that your attorney is an officer of the judicial system, and is, therefore, required to uphold the law. For this reason, there are a few instances in which your lawyer is required to break the privilege. The following are a few exceptions to Georgia’s Rule 1.6:
- To avoid further violation of the law
- To prevent harm to another party—financial, bodily, or otherwise
- To satisfy a court order
If you’re accused of a crime, you want an experienced lawyer on your side. To find out more about your defense options, contact the lawyers at Duffy & Feemster.