Clients often fear that if the attorney representing them knows all of
the negative facts of the case, it would cause the attorney to judge the
client and perhaps be disappointed with the client. Many times the client
believes that since negative facts cannot help the case, they do not need
to be disclosed to the attorney. NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH.
Attorneys do not take cases to judge their clients, and they need to know
ALL of the facts surrounding a case in order to properly protect the client
and provide the best possible representation. No fact is too small or
too unimportant. It is always better to tell the attorney more rather
than less. The attorney arms him or herself with the law AND the facts.
You would not want to take your own attorney’s ammunition away.
Because of the need for FULL disclosure, the law creates an attorney-client
privilege of confidentiality. This is a fancy way of saying that anything
the client tells the attorney as part of the representation has to be
kept confidential. The attorney is not permitted to disclose the client’s
information without the client’s approval. (Note that certain specific
and very limited exceptions do apply).
The confidentiality rule applies to actual communications by the client
AND to ALL INFORMATION, in whatever form and from whatever source, so
long as it relates to the representation. The confidentiality of the client
is so important that the rule continues to be in effect, even after the
representation is concluded. In addition, if an attorney is ever forced
to reveal confidential information by a court or rule of professional
conduct, the attorney is required to limit the amount of information to
the smallest amount necessary to accomplish the purpose of the disclosure.
In order to properly represent a client, an attorney may need to discuss
a case with other attorneys and staff within the office. Attorneys and
staff, in the same office, all fall under the same umbrella of confidentiality.
The confidential nature of an attorney’s representation of a client
should always be taken very seriously.
The safeguard provided by the attorney client confidentiality allows the
client to be honest with the attorney and not be afraid that saying “the
wrong thing” will cause additional troubles. An attorney who is
fully informed will have a much better chance of obtaining a positive
result for the client than the attorney who is surprised to learn that
he or she only knows some of the information. There is little that can
be done for the client who does not tell the attorney about the negative
aspects of the case and is left with counsel who is unprepared to address
key issues at the last-minute. For a FULL and frank discussion of your
case contact Longwell Lawyers.