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Attorney-Client Privilege in a Free Legal Consultation

On Behalf of | May 9, 2014 | Attorney-Client Privilege

When a potential new client consults with one of Buffington Law Firm’s business and trust trial lawyers, attorney-client privilege always attaches to the meeting.  In this brief Blog article we will discuss why attorney-client privilege is so important when you are confronted with a business dispute or serious trust or real estate dispute issue.

In a free consultation with one of our civil litigation attorneys, the potential client has not, of course, retained us to become their actual attorneys.  Nonetheless, attorney-client privilege always applies just as though the potential client was already a paying client of the Firm. Indeed for purposes of the meeting the person is a client of the Firm.  This means that the client can discuss both the strong and weak points of the case without concerns of confidentiality. When the client leaves the consultation, he or she can talk about the case to anyone (however unwise this might be).  We cannot, and we cannot be compelled to.  It is as simple as that.

The reason that the attorney-client privilege exists is so that clients and potential clients can speak honestly and with complete candor and disclosure to their attorney or potential attorney.  The attorney cannot properly evaluate the case without this kind of full disclosure by the client.  People who are involved in a business or trust litigation dispute are often under considerable pressure and stress. In this context they are making decisions under stress of a kind that they are not used to making.  Often, these decisions are not what the attorney would have advised and not what the client would have done in a cooler moment.  No case is perfect!  But often, in fact usually, if we know about the so-called “bad” facts of the case, we can determine a way to handle these facts in a way that nonetheless allows us to successfully prosecute or defend the case.  But to do this, the attorney must know the facts.

The attorney-client privilege in a free legal consultation is important for another reason.  It may seem helpful for a person facing a civil dispute to discuss the case on Facebook or with friends and colleagues.  But there is no attorney-client privilege when this is done, and such discussions have a nasty way of turning up as evidence at trial.  This cannot happen when you consult with one of Buffington Law Firm’s trial attorneys.  If you are confronted with a business, trust, or real estate dispute, give us a call for a no-obligation free legal consultation.  In this meeting you will speak directly with one of our experienced civil litigation attorneys.