Does Attorney-Client Privilege Apply to Family Law Cases Orlando Divorce Lawyer
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Does Attorney-Client Privilege Apply to Family Law Cases

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The attorney-client privilege is crucial in legal proceedings. This legal concept protects the confidentiality of communications between a lawyer and their client. The attorney-client privilege allows clients to feel secure in sharing confidential or sensitive information with their attorneys without fear that those communications will be disclosed to others or used against them. Often, when people think about attorney-client privilege, they think of criminal cases. However, attorney-client privilege does not only apply to criminal cases. It applies even to family law cases. Whether it is a divorce case, adoption case, paternity case, domestic violence case, or any family law case, your communications with your attorney are protected by the attorney-client privilege. This confidentiality encourages clients to be honest with their attorneys, enabling family lawyers to provide the most effective representation possible.

Elements of Attorney-Client Privilege

For attorney-client to be triggered, the following facts have to be true;

  • You sought legal guidance from an attorney in their capacity as an attorney. If, for example, you had a conversation with an attorney at a bar while having drinks, that might not qualify as a protected conversation.
  • The communication involves the legal guidance you sought. Non-legal matters are not protected by the attorney-client privilege.
  • You and the attorney intended for the communication to be privileged.

Benefits of the Attorney-Client Privilege

The attorney-client privilege offers several benefits, including the following;

  • Encouraging open communication between clients and their attorneys about their legal issues and concerns.
  • Clients can trust communications with their attorney will remain confidential and cannot be disclosed to others. Your attorney can even refuse to answer questions regarding your communications while being questioned as a witness in court.
  • Even an eavesdropper cannot use communications between a client and their attorney against the client.
  • Prevents the abuse of the legal process by protecting clients from being forced to disclose communication that could be used against them.

If, for example, a lawyer violates the attorney-client privilege and shares your confidential communications in court while testifying as a witness, the court will ignore that testimony.

Exceptions to the Attorney-Client Privilege

There are several instances where the attorney-client privilege does not apply, including the following;

  • Third-party presence. If someone else other than your attorney is present during the communications between you and your attorney, the attorney-client privilege does not apply. It also does not apply when you speak loudly in public. In such a case, an eavesdropper can testify against you and share the content of your conversation.
  • Future crime exception. If you share with your attorney plans to commit a crime in the future, the court may compel disclosure of the communications.
  • Waiver: The attorney-client privilege can be waived. If a client specifically waives their right to the attorney-client privilege, then it does not apply.

Should You Tell Your Family Law Attorney Everything?

A common question people ask is whether they should share everything with their attorney since they are protected by the attorney-client privilege. It is crucial that you share all relevant information with your family law attorney. Complete transparency can allow your lawyer to provide the best possible legal advice and representation.

Contact Us for Legal Help

If you need help with a family law-related matter, contact our skilled Orlando family lawyers at the Arwani Law Firm.

Source:

law.cornell.edu/wex/attorney-client_privilege

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