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Defining The Right Of The Attorney-client Privilege

In the United States, attorney-client privilege is also characterized by referring to the ‘5 Cs:’

  • communication

  • made in confidence

  • between a client

  • and counsel

  • for the purpose of obtaining or offering legal opinion or advice.

The attorney-client protection can include almost all kinds of correspondence or exchanges between a client and an attorney, including oral communications and documentary communications such as emails, letters, or even text messages.

The contact must be private

Which implies that the relationship is confined to the client and the counsel. When the correspondence is accessed from someone in the attorney-client partnership, such as a personal friend forwarded to the lawyer on an email, the right is lost. Even if such a touch is made in faith, the right is lost. That is called the right of “waiving.”

The relation must be made by a client

It is not mandatory for a structured retainer arrangement. It is enough for the individual to sincerely feel that he is consulting the lawyer in advancing his own interests for the purpose of seeking legal advice. A business may also be a “client.” Under any case, the protection covers correspondence between the lawyer of the company, whether a “in-house” lawyer hired by the company, such as a general counsel, or “outside” attorney at a law firm, and the employees of the company, as long as the conversations come within the limits of the duties of the employee.

Communications from the client must be rendered to counsel—a prosecutor

The right also involves the relationships of an attorney with others who support the lawyer in the representation, such as a paralegal or an inspector.

Eventually, contacts must be made for the purpose of obtaining legal advice or offering legal advice. In the corporate sense, this means that the correspondence of a client are not privileged while business advice is given by the lawyer.

The aim of the right of the attorney-client is to facilitate free and frank interactions between clients and their attorneys. To successfully represent a client, attorneys must have access to any pertinent material pertaining to the representation. The right of the attorney-client acknowledges that a client is most able to send all necessary information to a lawyer, including information that may be humiliating or difficult to discuss, if such messages can not be revealed further without the consent of the client.

The right also guarantees that attorneys can provide their clients with candid and frank legal advice. For example, whether the interaction might be revealed to prosecutorial officials or a possible adversary in civil litigation, a counsel could be more circumspect in discussing whether the pattern of actions of a client leads to deception.

A central feature of the legal system is the lawyer-client privilege. Not only does the anonymity protection make for stronger legal counsel, it facilitates compliance with the legislation by facilitating cooperation. A client who questions whether such action is beyond the law is more likely to seek counsel’s opinion recognizing that advice will not be shared outside the relationship between the solicitor and client.