Attorney-client privilege is a pillar of our judicial system. In a nutshell,
the attorney-client privilege ensures that all the information a client
gives an attorney will remain confidential and that the attorney will
not reveal the information without the client’s permission. There
are some qualifiers to this, such as that the information must be given
with the expectation that the attorney will give the person legal services.
The attorney-client privilege allows clients to discuss their legal problems
with their attorneys and trust that their attorneys will not disclose
or reveal anything that they would not want them to. In fact, Florida
are bound by their ethical rules of conduct to keep their client’s information secret, except in certain specific
Without this age-old and valuable privilege, clients would not feel free
to talk candidly with their attorneys and attorneys would not be able
to properly advise their clients because they would not have all the relevant
information about a case. Privilege has lasted as long as it has because
it is essential to our legal system.
Below is a quick overview of the attorney-client privilege in Florida.
What the Attorney-Client Privilege Covers
Florida’s law on attorney-client privilege can be found in
Florida Statutes 90.502. The law is quite broad in what it deems to be attorney-client privilege-protected.
Under the law, the attorney-client privilege in Florida covers all communications between:
The client’s attorney
The attorney’s employees who help with the client’s legal representation
Those who are reasonably necessary to facilitate the transmission of the
information (translators, office employees, etc.)
The privilege covers both oral and written communications, which means
that clients can feel confident that emails, texts, letters, phone conversations,
and other means of communication will be kept confidential between them
and their attorneys.
What Attorney-Client Privilege Does Not Cover
Despite how broad this privilege is, there are situations in which communications
between clients and attorneys are not covered. For instance, the privilege
does not protect information communicated to help the client plan or commit
a crime or fraud. The justice system does not want its attorneys acting
as agents to crimes that will happen in the future, but the justice system
does want lawyers to be able to advise their clients about what the client
may have done in the past.
A word of caution about attorney-client privilege: The information that
is protected is the information that is shared between the client and
the attorney. That means that you should always
be careful with whom you share this information. Because sharing it with someone else could mean that it is no longer
protected. As a result, you should be careful about copying anyone on
an email between you and your lawyer, and ensure that no one is present
that should not be during a conversation between you and your lawyer.
An Attorney You Can Trust
AtThe Pittman Firm we take the attorney-client privilege very seriously. We know how important
it is to your case, and you can be sure that the information you share
with us will remain confidential. Our firm is dedicated to giving you
the best representation possible. If you have been injured in an accident
in the Panama City area,
contact us. We will evaluate your case and provide you with your legal options.
See related blog posts:
Florida Courts: An Overview;
Florida’s Constitution: A History.