Understanding the Differences Between Attorney-Client Privilege and Confidentiality

When meeting with an attorney, clients are afforded a level of protection for all communications and information the attorney receives in the course of representation. Having your personal information kept confidential protects your right to privacy and ensures that attorneys are not only obtaining the most relevant information but that all information is accurate. Our attorneys take care to ensure that we safeguard all information obtained through documents or discussion to ensure the highest level of compliance with our obligations. If you or your loved one has been injured in an accident or incident and are seeking an experienced attorney, contact Colombo Law today.

Similarities Between Attorney-Client Privilege and Confidentiality

Because attorney-client confidentiality and attorney-client privilege both have the ultimate goal of protecting clients’ information, there are some similarities between the two regarding how information can be disclosed and when it can be disclosed. Generally, both attorney-client confidentiality and privilege must be maintained until the client gives permission for the information to be disclosed. In addition, the information will still be confidential after representation ends. In other words, attorneys are still under a duty to keep your personal information private, even if representation has ended.

Key Differences Between Attorney Client Privilege and Confidentiality

While attorney-client confidentiality and attorney client privilege both protect your information that is shared with your lawyer, they serve different purposes.

  • Attorney-client privilege protects lawyers from being compelled to disclose your information to others. Many times, law enforcement officers, insurance companies, or judges try to ask attorneys for information that is disclosed to assist them in other cases or investigations. The privilege protects the client and the attorney in these instances. It also prevents disclosure of any work-related information that an attorney creates in the course of litigation. Work- related information, also known as work product, may include notes taken during meetings or mental impressions or strategies that attorneys have documented and planned to use at trial.
  • Attorney client confidentiality is a rule of professional conduct, which governs the ethical obligations of lawyers. Confidentiality rules provide that attorneys are prohibited from disclosing any information for privacy reasons, unless it is generally known to others. If information is known by a majority of individuals, it may lose confidentiality under the rules. However, our attorneys never disclose information that was obtained in the course of representation because we realize it may be a detriment to the client. This holds our attorneys to the highest standards in ensuring privacy and professionalism, which creates a safe environment. However, in some instances we are required to disclose certain information, as required by law.

Contact Colombo Law Today

If you have been injured in an accident or incident in West Virginia, contact an attorney at Colombo Law for legal assistance. Colombo Law assists clients located in and around West Virginia including in Morgantown, Fairmont, Clarksburg, Bridgeport, Kingwood, Grafton, Weston, Philippi, Buckhannon, Elkins, Parkersburg, as well as Monongalia, Marion, Harrison, Preston, Taylor, and Lewis county. If you are unsure of whether you have a personal injury claim or how to proceed with obtaining monetary compensation, let one of our attorneys take the stress away from you. Contact one of our attorneys today.

by Colombo Law
Last updated on - Originally published on