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.
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.
Our hands free devices, speaker phones and Bluetooth devices make connecting super convenient. They also make it super easy to speak out of turn!
That inappropriate joke, the slew of curse words that you harangue your old college buddy with may not be appropriate over the Bluetooth speakers in the minivan.
Likewise, conversations between you and your attorney may not be appropriate to have in a public place or in front of others, even if they are not curse-filled diatribes. The fact that another person is present means the information they heard is not protected by attorney-client privilege.
Matthew Thompson is a Divorce and Family Law Attorney in Mississippi and reminds you to respect the duck and ask if it’s ok to speak freely.
The desire to confess, to tell someone your secrets can be overwhelming, that is why lawyers, counselors and pastors/priests exist. These professionals are bound to keep your business your business. This is because these communications are protected by privilege; attorney-client, doctor-patient, and/or priest penitent.
That person you just met is not bound by anything. They can tell anyone they please and more importantly could be compelled to testify if legal proceedings were ever to be had. Even if you said something that was not true this person could say you said it.
Also, telling people your business is bad business. You never know when that certain something comes back to bite you.
Matthew Thompson is a Family Law Attorney in Mississippi and warns clients to not “tell-all” to non-privileged individuals.