Written by attorney Tina Kelly Gehres

Can I Really Tell You Everything? California Attorney/Client Privilege

Most of us are familiar with the attorney–client privilege in terms of protections provided in criminal cases and prosecutions. But what about its application to civil and business related matters? Through television and movies, most of us have learned that if you tell your lawyer all your dirty deeds he or she can’t tell anyone about it. This is true for the most part, as set out in California Evidence Code 954, as well as case law and standards established by federal, state courts and the American Bar Association. Confidential communications between clients and their attorney are generally privileged. However, like most rules, there are exceptions. Two more common exceptions are: 1) you convey an intent to do future harm (not your past bad deeds or crimes); or, 2) matters of fraud.

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