Attorney-client privilege is an important legal concept that allows people to have confidential conversations with their attorneys without worrying about those conversations being used against them in court. It’s a cornerstone of the relationship between attorney and client and plays an essential role in protecting the rights of individuals. So, what exactly is attorney-client privilege? And why should you care? Let’s take a closer look.

What Is Attorney-Client Privilege?

In simplest terms, attorney-client privilege grants protection to any confidential communications between a lawyer and his or her client. This means that whatever you discuss with your attorney—whether it be legal advice, strategy, or even personal matters—cannot be disclosed to anyone else without your express permission. The only exception is if someone presents evidence that reveals illegal activity. In such a case, the lawyer is legally obligated to disclose the information to authorities due to mandatory reporting laws.

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The Purpose of Attorney-Client Privilege

The purpose of this law is to make sure that people are able to get honest counsel from their attorneys without fear of those conversations being used against them in court or elsewhere. This means that your attorney can provide you with sound legal advice without worrying about violating professional ethics by exposing you to potential criminal liability or other consequences. It also allows lawyers and their clients to collaborate openly on legal strategies without having their discussions subpoenaed by opposing counsel during court proceedings.

Is Attorney-Client Privilege Absolute in All Circumstances?


I mentioned the exception for illegal activity, but there are other instances where privileged attorney-client information may need to be “disclosed.” In this instance, the word “disclosed” is important, depending on who and how such disclosure is made.

The most common situation occurs where another attorney tries to subpoena privileged attorney-client information. The attorney may not believe such information is actually privileged, or may be trying to argue you’ve lost the privilege for some reason. In such instances, you may need to disclose to the judge, so the judge can decide whether such information is actually privileged or not. In some instances, opposing counsel may demand a relevance and privilege log, which could (at the least) disclose the existence of information you may not otherwise want to be known.

You can also lose attorney-client privilege for certain information, if you’re not careful in how you treat that information or if you share or relay that information to another party who cannot convey attorney-client privilege. A common example of this, is where you share information from your attorney with your CPA. Your CPA cannot argue attorney-client privilege, since the CPA is not an attorney. If an opposing counsel subpoenas the CPA, such information could be discoverable, even if the attorney can claim the same information from him or her is privileged.

Why Is Attorney-Client Privilege Important for Business Owners?

For business owners, maintaining attorney-client privilege can be especially important because it protects sensitive information like trade secrets or financial records from being exposed during litigation or other business disputes. Without this protection in place, competitors could use privileged information obtained during a lawsuit against you and gain an unfair advantage over your company—not something any business owner wants!

Attorney-client privilege is critical for ensuring that individuals are able to trust their lawyers enough to speak honestly with them about their cases or legal strategies. It provides a safe space for discussing confidential matters while also protecting businesses from having sensitive information exposed during litigation and other disputes. If you’re considering hiring an attorney, it’s essential that you understand the importance of this concept so that you can protect yourself as well as your business interests moving forward.

Law 4 Small Business, P.C. (L4SB). A little law now can save a lot later. A Slingshot company.

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