Are the things I tell my attorney private?
In order to provide “proper” representation, a lawyer must know all the facts so that appropriate legal advice and recommendations may be given.
The information and facts of any particular situation may be embarrassing, hurtful, silly, or upsetting. That information may include facts the client feels may hurt their own case as well as facts that may help their case. However, the only way that any lawyer can give proper advice is to know everything the client knows about the situation about which advice is sought.
Lawyers are bound by an ethical code that requires that they keep information provided in strict confidence. Accordingly, anything a client tells to a lawyer representing that client or tells any personnel in the lawyers’ office is private and confidential and will not be disclosed without the client’s permission – this is called the “attorney-client privilege.”
Similarly, it is very important that you not discuss any advice or recommendations we may have given you with anyone else. Disclosure of attorney-client confidences to any third person waives the attorney-client privilege. Because of this fact, please do not be offended if we ask that you not bring friends or relatives with you into a meeting with your attorney. We understand your need for moral support, but we are very concerned that you receive unencumbered advice regarding your specific situation that we cannot do with a third party in the office.