Everyone knows, whether from Law and Order or from popular culture in general that words spoken to an attorney by a client are forever privileged, sacrosanct and private. As is true with many well-known facts, the true contours of the actual fact may not closely conform to the cliché. Often, widely held beliefs are simply urban legend.
We are proud to present an article on how attorney client privilege plays out in legal malpractice settings from today’s New York Law Journal.
“The noble purpose of CPLR 4503 is to foster frank and protected dialogue between attorneys and clients in professional engagements, thereby ultimately promoting the administration of justice. The privilege applies to communications with attorneys relating to the attorneys’ representation (or potential representation), whether it’s the individual attorney, partners, corporate staff counsel or outside counsel. The privilege applies both to communications from clients to attorneys and from attorneys to clients.
Recognized long ago, the “attorney-client privilege rests not only upon the professional character of the employment, but also upon the confidential nature of the communication.” Bauman v. Steingester, 213 N.Y. 328, 333 (1914). New York’s protection of this privilege remains strong. “The attorney-client privilege shields from disclosure any confidential communications between an attorney and his or her client made for the purpose of obtaining or facilitating legal advice in the course of a professional relationship.” Ambac Assur. v. Countrywide Home Loans, 27 N.Y.3d 616, 623 (2016).”