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Litigation & Attorney-Client Privilege: When Does It Apply?

| Aug 1, 2016 | Litigation

Litigation, and all legal representation, creates by necessity an abondonment of “secrets” by the client.  The abondoment of “secrets” by the client is protected by the Attorney-Client Privilege.

In DP Pham LLC v. Cheadle (2016) 246 Cal.App.4th 653, the Court recognized “the attorney-client privilege is absolute and prevents the disclosure of any part of a privileged communication.”  The privilege attaches regardless of whether the information communicated is in fact privileged. In short, if an Attorney-Client relationship exists, then it is assumed ALL communication between the attorney and the client is privileged.

The Attorney-Client Privilege can be waived, sometimes inadvertently, by the presence of a person who is not from the attorney’s law firm or a client (e.g., a client brings a friend to a meeting with the attorney to assist the client in assessing the information). Such meetings are not protected by the Attorney-Client Privilege.  

The good news is that a client can share everything (good and bad) with the attorney, but privacy of the communication is important to maintain the privilege.

L. Sue Loftin is the Founder and Managing Shareholder of The Loftin Firm. For questions relating to this blog or any other California real estate, corporate governance, land use, or estate planning matter, contact Ms. Loftin at 760-814-9649.