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Is a attorney client privilege absolute

Buffalo, NY |

i signed a retainer agreement and I did not notice until
later that if I say anything negative about I would waive the
attorney client privilege Is that allowed

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Attorney answers 4


Its not absolute. Whether saying something negative about your lawyer serves as a waiver is an interesting issue. If you sue your lawyer you waive so I could see a court saying the lawyer has a right to defend himself if you posted a negative review online. I guess it would be very fact specific.

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There are other exceptions besides those mentioned by a prior lawyer. If you advise your attorney that you are going to commit a crime, that is not privileged. There are more exceptions if you are going to lie in court. Speak to a lawyer about your options.

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I can't see how a retainer agreement can bind you to, say, not leaving "negative" comments on Avvo, Yelp or similar sites and what that would have to do with privilege unless you disclosed or hinted at privileged matters, thus waiving your privilege and allowing the lawyer to also disclose privileged facts in his defense.

This is kind of far fetched, since you can complain about an attorney even online or in public without disclosing privileged facts. (Most complaints have nothing to do with privileged facts, it's more "he didn't inform me of major developments in my case" or "she won't return my phone calls".

If this provision was simply to prevent "non disparagement" it's probably unenforceable and not a waiver of privilege.

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That is very shady. I'd ask the lawyer to specifically explain that clause to you, and do so in writing. IF he is saying you can 't speak ill of him, and if you do, the privilege will be waived (allowing him to speak openly about your confidential communication with him) I would say it is time to find another lawyer.

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