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Understanding attorney-client privilege

Working with a lawyer in White Plains on a legal matter can be a daunting process, particularly due to the amount of information you may be required to share with your attorney. It is easy to understand why you may be hesitant to disclose certain information to a person with whom you do not have an established relationship; many of those that we here at Bashian & Farber, LLP have worked with in the past have the same concern. Yet in order for your attorney to provide you with the best possible representation, they need to know all the details related to your case.

Attorney-client privilege allows you the comfort in knowing that you can share information with an attorney without the fear of it being disclosed to the public. The American Bar Association's Model Rules of Professional Conduct state that your attorney is only allowed to reveal information related to your representation if you give your consent, or such consent is implied in your orders to carry out your representation. In the latter case, your attorney should typically consult with you prior to any disclosures so as to avoid the appearance of any improprieties. 

The benefit of attorney-client privilege does have its limitations, however. Your attorney does not need consent to reveal potentially sensitive information in the following scenarios: 

  • To prevent death or serious bodily harm
  • To prevent the furtherance of a crime
  • To establish a defense in a matter between themselves and you
  • To comply with a court order
  • To seek advice in remaining compliant with the attorney-client privilege concept

If your attorney changes their employment (or the ownership of their firm changes), they can disclose information, yet only if it will prejudice your case. More information on the attorney-client relationship can be found throughout our site. 

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