“In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups. The police who investigate crime, and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders. These are their stories.”
This is the opening monologue for Law & Order, one of the longest-running television shows and extended franchises. The show has provided an inside look at the justice system for decades, but how accurate is it? The truth is, it’s not always that accurate, but it is what most people think of when working with attorneys. What is the attorney-client relationship really like? Here is how to tell fact from fiction.
What Does Attorney-Client Privilege Really Mean?
Attorney-Client privilege is a phrase that gets thrown around a lot, especially in courtroom dramas. It is a concept that has a very real and vital definition. It covers confidential communication between a lawyer and their client. However, that doesn’t mean all communication is confidential. The communication may not be protected if a third party is present as it isn’t considered confidential. You can learn more about attorney-client privilege here.
Establishing an Attorney-Client Relationship
At what point does the attorney-client relationship begin? This is critical in determining what is confidential and protected by the attorney-client privilege. An attorney-client relationship starts with a person or entity seeking legal help from an attorney. Typically, this is an agreement made between the lawyer and client explicitly, so it’s crucial to have clear communication.
In Florida, the Attorney-Client Privilege is created by Florida Statute 90.502. Of course, the privilege is not unlimited. For instance, if you tell your client that you are going to commit a violent crime in the future, that is not protected communication. And it is important to remember that the Florida legislature could attempt to modify the Attorney-Client Privilege. In fact, just this week, a proposed bill was filed in the Florida House (House Bill 837) to try to limit the privilege when a lawyer refers a client to an injury lawyer.
Your Lawyer’s Responsibility to Represent You
Your lawyer is bound by specific standards and ethics set by the American Bar Association and the state in which they’re licensed. Throughout your relationship with your lawyer, you have a responsibility to act with integrity and honesty. Provide all information necessary to represent you for civil or criminal cases properly.
Lawyers must also ensure they’re not representing any case with a conflict of interest. You can read more about a lawyer’s responsibility from the American Bar Association here.
What Can You Expect?
Whenever you contact Glassman & Zissimopulos, you will speak directly to an attorney. We’ll discuss the situation and determine if we’re the best firm to represent you or point you in another direction. Once we’ve established an attorney-client relationship, we will always act with integrity to get you the recovery or outcome you deserve.
Call Glassman and Zissimopulos and our team of dedicated attorneys today. (352) 505-4515 or Toll-Free at (844) 787-2543. When you call, you will be able to speak with a lawyer. This is our commitment to you.