The attorney-client privilege is the oldest privilege acknowledged in common law for sensitive information. The attorney-client privilege, however, is not unlike the testimonial privilege that has been applied to other occupations, including surgeons, psychiatrists, accountants, and clergy. The object of the privilege is to facilitate absolute and frank contact between the client, patient, or penitent and the practitioner.
More precisely, the right of attorney-client admits that good legal counsel relies on the client being completely briefed by the attorneys. The purpose of this right is to allow a client to supply the counsel with all necessary details and to secure the advice offered during the attorney-client relationship. The client would otherwise be hesitant to trust legal counsel. The Texas Supreme Court ruled that the justification for “the privilege is to ensure the free flow of data between attorney and customer, ultimately serving the broader societal interest of effective justice administration.” Co. v. Davis, Co. v. Davis, 856 S.W.2d 158, 160 (Tex. 1993). Neither the defendant nor the solicitor should be pressured to report these messages against the will of the plaintiff. Uh, Tex. Evid. Evid. R. (1) 503(b) (2009).
The elements required for attorney-client privilege to be created are as follows:
– a communication;
– made amongst persons of privilege;
– For the purposes of seeking, receiving, or supplying the client with legal assistance.
– Don’t mix requests for legal advice with requests for other advice; let one role be done by one paper or contact. This will aid with protecting the privacy of judicial inquiries and recommendations. Indicate that the correspondence is either private or privileged.
– Communications are also aimed at multiple recipients in the era of email, including counsel. Such a case could establish an assumption that the revelation was not purely for legal reasons, which may mean that there would be no attorney-client privilege attached. Bear this in mind when determining how to manage messages
– Email messages will also be passed via email “chains” or “threads” around an entity. If a non-lawyer employee passes the legal advice of an attorney to others for an authorized legal reason, it would remain safe. But if, for logistical or other non-legal purposes, a non-lawyer worker forwards the advice to other non-lawyers, the right could be lost. So, before forwarding legal opinion, consider again, or consult with lawyers.
– Be vigilant not to waive privilege by disclosing to third parties the correspondence, or the substance of communications, through counsel.