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Understanding Attorney-Client Privilege When Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer

Even if you’re outside the legal system or have never been in a courtroom. You’ve likely heard about the concept of attorney-client privilege. However, this idea is seldom broken down. If you’re thinking of mounting a case, know someone who is, or you’re just curious about the nature of this unique relationship. Here’s what you need to understand about attorney-client privilege.

What is Attorney-Client Privilege?

Attorney-client privilege is an institution meant to secure legal clients from risk. Risk of information that is private or pertinent to their case falling into the wrong hands. In its origin, the purpose of attorney-client privilege is to prevent the possibility of an attorney testifying against the client based on information that the client has told them in private conversations. Shielded by this privilege, clients can feel more comfortable being open about any details pertinent to their case. That way, attorneys have the full picture and can provide accurate, professional advice. Conversations between attorneys and clients are said to be had in a “zone of privacy.”

What Constitutes an Attorney-Client Relationship?

The attorney-client privilege does not exist until there is an attorney-client relationship in play. That may seem obvious, but it is imperative. That means that a client has firmly hired and met with the attorney, and the two parties have agreed on the contract for representation. There could be a few exceptions to this, such as if an attorney is held on retainer by an individual or entity or if there has been a history of former representations.

Are All Communications Confidential?

So, are all communication between attorneys and their clients confidential? The answer is murky. Most communications are, indeed, privileged, but it does not cover all communication. If a client conveys certain facts pertinent to the case, and those facts are available to find out elsewhere—for instance, if they are publicly published online—then communication is not confidential. Those facts may be used in court.

Contact Herrman & Herrman P.L.L.C. at 361.882.4357

Our firm is equipped with over 100 years of combined experience handling personal injury cases across Texas. Our outstanding record of favorable settlements and verdicts includes over 20,000 successfully resolved cases. Once we take on a case, we are relentless, and you can rely on us to pursue full compensation for you.