“I was wrongly convicted of murder. I spent nearly 17 years in prison fighting my case. When I finally won a new trial, I chose Greg Robey to be a part of my defense team. He found an FBI agent who had worked on the case in the 1980s, along with critical pieces of evidence that we thought were long lost. After a long and very hard-fought trial, I was found Not Guilty of all charges. I owe my freedom to Greg Robey and my defense team.” -R.R., Ravenna, Ohio
Attorney-client privilege is a rule that protects both attorneys and their clients from disclosing confidential communications vital for the purposes of furnishing or obtaining legal advice or assistance.
This protection is intended to encourage clients to give their lawyers all possible information – including some that is possibly embarrassing or damaging – relevant to their legal problem. Full communication enables lawyers to determine what is or is not relevant to their clients’ case. The confidentiality rule protects clients from being penalized for consulting with lawyers and telling their lawyers as much as possible about their legal matter. Attorney-client privilege may be raised during any type of legal proceeding, and at any time during those proceedings – including pre- and post-trial.
The information given by clients to their lawyers in the lawyer-client relationship is protected as follows:
These protections apply to business or organizational clients as well as natural persons, and they also extend to electronic communications such as email, fax, text messages and video conferences. The Ohio Supreme Court recently ruled that attorney-client privilege also applies to a public records inquiry – that is, information protected by attorney-client privilege can be exempted from records provided pursuant to such an inquiry.