We would all hope that the day we need an attorney to represent us will never come. Life can throw many things at you, some that are not so pleasant. All it takes is being in the right place at the wrong time to either become a victim or a criminal. If the time should ever come when a person needs to retain an attorney, it’s important to understand what attorney-client confidentiality really means. The concept which dates back to the time of Elizabeth the first was based on protecting the attorney. At that time is was decided that an attorney shouldn’t have to testify against his or her client. In today’s court system the privilege is not held by the client. Think of attorney-client confidentiality as privileged, meaning it is important for a trusting relationship between the client and his or her attorney.
In all respects “if clients were not assured of the confidentiality of the information they share with their attorney, then they would have an incentive to hide or distort facts” (Meyer & Grant, 2003). The idea behind this agreement is that it provides guidance for the attorney and also helps to protect the client when revealing important information. An attorney is bound to not disclose any information given to him by any client (current or former). In order for an attorney to reveal any information the client must give informed consent. It is this standard alone that allows the client to be honest and disclose all information even when it could be damaging. “A comprehensive body of laws and ethical standards has been developed to secure effective representation” (“What is attorney client confidentiality,” 2013).
This standard applies to all and any information that is related to representing the client. On the other hand, an attorney is allowed to reveal information in order to protect or prevent bodily hard, that is in order to protect someone’s life. Granted we all hope a time for attorney-client confidentiality will never come, but at least we can have some sense of understanding. You may not like your attorney but know this, it is his or her job to listen to you and obtain the facts necessary to defend you. He or she may not disclose what you tell them regardless of what that information may be.
Meyer, J.F., & Grant, D.R. (2003). The courts in our criminal justice system. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall Silverman, A. B. (1997). Silence is golden- the attorney client privilege. Retrieved from http://www.tms.org What is attorney client confidentiality. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.superpages.com
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