What Is Client Confidentiality?
Client confidentiality is an instrumental part of the legal system. It encourages clients to be honest with their legal team which allows their attorneys to do their job to the best of their ability. Without access to all of the information surrounding the case, they would be unable to properly defend their client, which is why confidentiality is protected by the law. Within the law, there are three main types of confidentially that lawyers need to consider:
Confidentiality: Confidentiality applies to all case information related to the client whether it be shared directly by the client or found through a third party. This information must be protected and can not be shared without the client’s consent. An attorney can, however, be compelled to disclose confidential information by the courts.
Attorney-Client Privilege: Unlike confidentiality, privileged information cannot be shared, even with a court order. However, there are exceptions to this rule such as when an attorney worries about the safety of their client or needs to disclose information in the case of a lawsuit. This kind of confidentially was created to protect the communication between clients and their attorneys.
Work Product: Work product protects all written materials that are created while an attorney is working on a case. This involves legal research, witness interviews, meeting with other lawyers, strategies, and their personal notes. Work products can not be disclosed in either criminal or civil procedures.
Electronic information is also protected by confidentiality. It includes email, fax transmissions, cellular phones, cordless phones, text messages, video conferences, and any other form of electronic communication. This information is usually pretty safe, but when dealing with especially sensitive information attorneys should consider using encryption and other safety measures for added protection.