Attorney-client privilege

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April 9, 2012.

Attorney-client privilege

The attorney-client privilege is a rule that guards both the client and his attorney from being forced to make known confidential communications between them. This meant to promote openness between the two parties and ensure that the attorney has all the relevant information so as to represent the client well. The secret information held between a client and his attorney remains confidential unless a court compels them to disclose it (Walkowiak, 63). The privilege to decide which information remains secret and which should be disclosed rests with the client. However, this may change and the client may pass the privilege to the attorney who decides which information is divulged to the court or any other party that may be interested in the case. In some instances, the use of this privilege is very complicated mostly if the client is not an individual but a company or organization. Over the years, many courts have ruled that incase of corporate clients, this privilege rests on board members, top officers and directors. On top of this, the privilege can also be exercised by an employee who has had discussions with a lawyer on behalf of the corporation (Schubert, 47).

In some instances, the attorney-client privilege may not apply and the parties may be compelled by a court to disclose all the communication between them. The first instance when the attorney-client privilege may not apply is when the client discloses the confidential information to another party apart from the attorney. This means that the privilege applies to the correspondence between the client and the legal representative but not between the client and the third party to whom the information has been disclosed. Another situation where this privilege my not apply is when the disclosure can lead to prevention of a crime like fraud or tort. Sometimes, the communication between the legal representative and client may be intended to perpetrate a crime.  In such a case, the law does not.............

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