ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGE & FLORIDA FAMILY LAW
HOW ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGE WORKS WHEN IT COMES TO FLORIDA FAMILY LAW
Family law covers many areas. Florida family law (and in other states) services consist of the following:
- Legal Separations
- Child Custody
- Child support
- Visitation rights (for children/parents/grandparents/other relatives), and
Additional related matters…
What Does Attorney-Client Privilege Mean?
Unfortunately, many of us do not fully understand what the term “attorney-client privilege” truly means. It is important to have knowledge of its meaning though. Otherwise, it could result in us having doubts about its use in numerous critical instances and possibly taking it for granted sometimes.
The attorney-client privilege means that when you discuss any matter with a lawyer, anything you tell him or her (or anything else pertaining to the matter) is confidential; strictly between you and your counsel. Whatever you tell your legal adviser remains a secret between you and your lawyer.
What Privileges Does It Include – are There Limitations?
Certainly, there are limitations with any legal case and terms. However, these restrictions are involved in legal situations that might revolve about fraud or criminal activities. Normally, these instances do not arise with family legal cases, child support situations or child custody issues.
So, you can anticipate that such restrictions of your attorney-client privilege will not be applicable in your family matters. Every family law attorney (Florida Family Law) must comply with confidentially in Florida. He or she cannot testify against a client either. One limitation involves serious aspects of life.
For example, a law firm must keep all discussion between him/her and clients, unless a client might plan on harming him or herself or another person. In that case, the lawyer must say something. Otherwise, your family law attorney must keep everything else in confidence.
Use Your Attorney Client Privilege to Your Advantage
You may want to utilize your attorney-client privilege to your advantage; meaning: it is important to disclose all required details to your lawyer. It will be to your advantage if you do so. Your attorney will be better able to assist you with your family law matters. Florida family law lawyers are there to protect you and your family’s rights, constitutional and legal rights. If you leave out any vital details, he or she might not be able to get you what you are seeking.
Furthermore, it is not only your attorney fighting for your rights. If you are involved in a divorce, legal separation, child support or child custody battle, your spouse most likely has a lawyer as well. That attorney is fighting for his or her rights. Therefore, your attorney must know every detail to be better capable of defending you and your child.
Since there are attorney-client privileges already established for all legal firms, you may be able to put your complete trust in your legal counsel. If you can’t put faith in your lawyer, who can you trust? He or she must know as much as possible about each case, or else, it is tough to win. If you are in an unsafe situation with a spouse, but you do not speak up about it, the other spouse could win the case.
Disclosing All Vital Information is Important for Your Case – Florida Family Law
An example of such a case is domestic violence (mental, verbal or physical). If there is violence in the home and you are undergoing a divorce, whether there are children involved or not, your family law attorney can only help you if he or she knows everything. Unfortunately, some people protect loved ones and do not tell. It does not always end well though. An experienced Florida family law lawyer understands that and more and is proficient with all family matters and the laws.
Your Attorney Client Privilege as a Client — Florida Family Law
Keep in mind that each state has diverse rules and laws regarding legal matters and attorney-client privileges.
Typically, the attorney-client privilege is applicable when:
- A possible or actual client discusses a matter with an attorney and needs/receives legal advice
- The legal counsel is acting in a professional manner, not as an acquaintance, and
- The clientele meant for the discussions to be kept confidential and disclosed all necessary details
Attorneys are not permitted to disclose any discussions they have with clients, whether the discussions were written or verbal. Also, your family law attorney cannot talk to anyone outside the legal firm about your case without your written permission. Therefore, it means that the privilege is yours, not your lawyer’s – you make the decision as to whether you wish to give up the privilege, however, your legal counsel cannot make that choice.
Contact us to learn more about this topic or Florida family law, at The Law Office of Erin Morse, www.morse-firm.com
The attorney-client privilege typically remains active even after your case is settled, and even if you pass away. This privilege goes on indefinitely. That means your lawyer is not permitted to ever discuss your confidential information unless you agree to it unless an exception is applicable. For example, in 1992, there was a case where there was an exception to the rule. However, the case involved possible criminal actions regarding a policy judgment that the interest in settling estates outweighs any posthumous interest in confidentiality.
As mentioned earlier, the attorney-client privilege is yours, not your lawyer’s. But, there are situations where it could be out of your control and out of your attorney’s control. For instance, if you meet with your family law attorney in a public setting, make sure nobody can hear your conversation. Otherwise, if someone not related to the case eavesdrops, or hears part or all the conversation by mistake, he or she could tell someone else what was discussed.
If a client discusses a legal case with his or her lawyer, and the same client talks about the case with another individual, he or she might be giving up his or her attorney-client privilege. If a third person is there when you meet with an attorney, you might be giving up your attorney-client privilege as well.
Regardless of who might hear the conversations, your family law attorney might still be obligated to keep your discussions private.
Whether your case is a Florida family law case or is in another state, attorney-client privileges are still applicable. Whatever you discuss with your family law attorney are private and he or she is not permitted to talk about your details to anybody outside the legal firm unless you allow him or her to do so.
When you meet with your family law attorney, it is alright to ask him or her if the attorney-client privilege applies to your situation before disclosing information.
Whether you are involved in a divorce, want a legal separation, are involved in child custody or support dispute, or need assistance with any family law matter, our firm is here to help and offer legal advice and assistance, to get you what you deserve and protect your rights. We have handled several Florida family law cases over the years and our well-knowledge and proficient with family law legalities and rules.
If you have a Florida family law case you wish to discuss with a Florida law attorney, it might be worth contacting an experienced, proficient lawyer in your area.