May 17, 2023
Hit and Run Lawyer
Attorney-client privileges pertains to keeping confidential communications between an attorney and their client, to ensure that the client can be as truthful and honest as possible when working with their attorney. The name “attorney-client privilege” was given to the common law concept of legal professional privilege in the United States and gives client’s the right to disclose and prevent others from disclosing confidential information and communication that occurred between them and their attorney. Not only does this right promote better legal advice and representation because of the honesty which can be shared between the attorney and the client, but it also promotes compliance with the law. To represent a client fully, competently, and well, lawyers must have access to all of the relevant information regarding the client and case. If attorneys do not know the full extent of their client’s information, details of the case, or other factors which would impede the case, then they are not able to do their civil, ethical, and professional duties.
What Falls Under Attorney Client Privilege? What are the “5 C’s”?
In attorney-client privilege, there is the concept of the “5 C’s”, which is a clever acronym to remember what is specifically covered under this privilege. The 5 C’s include (1) a Communication, (2) made in Confidence, (3) between a Client, (4) and Counsel, (5) for the purpose of seeking or providing legal Counsel or advice. These concepts are complex but to better understand them:
- All types of communications, transmissions, reporting, or conveyances may be covered under attorney-client privilege. Verbal conversation, emails, letters, documents, and text messages are all covered under attorney-client privilege.
- The communication must be confidential. The conversation is specifically meant to be limited between the client and the attorney. Once another person outside of the attorney-client privilege receives this communication, the privilege is “waived” or lost, even if the communication was made in confidence.
- The communication must be made by the client. An honest conversation between an individual and an attorney for the purpose of providing legal advice is enough to be considered a “client” therefore enacting attorney-client privilege, thus, a formal retainer or contract is not necessary to have this privilege.
- The client’s communication is made specifically to the attorney. The privilege also covers a client’s communication for anyone who assists the attorney in the representation process, including paralegals, investigators, and assistants.
- Communications that were made were done for the purpose of seeking out, or receiving and providing, legal advice. A regular conversation between an individual and an attorney is not covered, it must specifically be an individual seeking out legal advice from the attorney for it to be covered under this privilege.
If you’ve been injured, a personal injury attorney can advise you on the complexities of the law and help you obtain the compensation you deserve. All conversations between you and the attorney will be confidential due to attorney-client privilege, so feel free to discuss your injuries in full detail with your attorney.