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Are consultations covered under attorney client privilege?

Portland, OR |

I have a friend who is using her attorney for tax issues. Her attorney is also good with general litigation and some criminal matters. Generally speaking, are consultation or pre-retainer conversations or other correspondence protected under attorney client privilege? For example if I send an email or give a brief phone call with an overview of what the criminal charges are, could the police seize that communication and later use it against me?

This is an accidental double post of http://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/are-consultations-covered-under-attorney-client-pr-1269288.html

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Best answer

    You bet they are!!! When you consult with an attorney, you can count on your information remaining private.

    Nothing discussed should be taken as legal advice. Posting details of your case on an open forum could be used against you, so use extreme caution. The best way to get legal advice is to consult privately with an attorney.


  2. Yes, they are covered under privilege, unless the client signs a waiver discharging the privilege.

    Please read the following notice: <br> <br> Jay Bodzin is licensed to practice law in the State of Oregon and the Federal District of Oregon, and cannot give advice about the laws of other jurisdictions. All comments on this site are intended for informational purposes only, and do not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. No posts or comments on this site are in any way confidential. Each case is unique. You are advised to have counsel at all stages of any legal proceeding, and to speak with your own lawyer in private to get advice about your specific situation. <br> <br> Jay Bodzin, Northwest Law Office, 2075 SW First Avenue, Suite 2J, Portland, OR 97201 | Telephone: 503-227-0965 | Facsimile: 503-345-0926 | Email: jay@northwestlawoffice.com | Online: www.northwestlawoffice.com


  3. Absolutely - the fact that a person has not paid the lawyer anything does not mean that the conversation is anything but confidential as though you had been a paying client.

    But that means all the regular things must apply - the conversation must have been relating to the attorney-client relationship, the conversation must have been had in a confidential setting, etc.

    If your next-door neighbor is a lawyer and you see him at the store and loudly say "Hey Jim - I bought some cocaine this weekend - want to buy some?", this will not be a confidential communication.