Attorney–client privilege is a legal concept that protects communications between a client and attorney and prevents either from being compelled to testify to those communications in court, unless waived.
The attorney–client privilege is one of the oldest privileges for communications. The United States Supreme Court stated that by assuring confidentiality, the privilege allows clients to make “full and frank” disclosures to attorneys, who are then better able to provide candid advice and effective representation.
But, not everything is protected. Communications to third parties are not and neither are credible threats of serious bodily harm or death! “When a lawyer believes that it is reasonably certain that a death or substantial bodily harm will occur if the lawyer doesn’t reveal that information, then he may reveal that information.”
A Pennsylvania lawyer recently reported his client’s admitted actions when it was disclosed that the client planned to “take back” the home of his ex-girlfriend using an AR-15 rifle and body armor. Upon being arrested, the client, Howard Timothy Cofflin Jr., told police that he planned to kill his ex-girlfriend and anyone who tried to stop him. He had also allegedly searched on his cell phone for “how to kill a state trooper” and “killing with an AR-15.”
Cofflin, already charged with harassment and making terroristic threats, now he faces new charges of attempted murder, terrorism, aggravated assault and threatening to use weapons of mass destruction. http://www.abajournal.com/
Matthew Thompson is a Domestic Relations Attorney in Mississippi and advises clients as to what privilege means, what is protected and what rightfully is not.