The Sanctity of the Attorney/Client relationship
How often do we share sensitive information with others and then say, “Please don’t share this with anybody?” When we make this request, how often do we wonder if those with whom we share this information really honor our request and keep the information secret?
Few relationships exist between humans that necessitate and inspire trust to the extent that the attorney/client relationship does. People turn to lawyers when they need help the most: when they are charged with crimes, when they’ve been injured in an accident, when they are experiencing separation at home by way of a divorce or a child custody issue, etc. Inherent in the relationship is the trust that comes with knowing that almost anything said between the lawyer and the client who seeks legal advice is confidential, it cannot be shared with anyone.
In general terms, the law protects the confidentiality of communications between lawyers and their clients in two ways. First, with a few exceptions, the Rules of Professional Conduct require lawyers to keep secret the communications they have with their clients. Second, courts recognize an evidentiary privilege related to communications that occur between lawyers and their clients. Generally, communications that occur between lawyers and their clients cannot be introduced into evidence in court.
Clients who hire lawyers receive so many benefits, many of which they do not realize or anticipate. One of the most profound benefits is the client being able to tell another person, a lawyer, practically anything and not having to worry about it being repeated.
I take seriously my obligations to protect my clients’ confidences.