“When I was arrested by the Feds on Drug Conspiracy charges, they told me I was facing mandatory life in federal prison without the possibility of parole. I knew that I was innocent, but I was scared . . . so I knew that I would have to find a lawyer who was not afraid of the Feds and would take my case to trial. I chose Greg Robey because he is a fighter. After over 2 weeks in a federal jury trial, I was found Not Guilty of all charges. My family and I am forever grateful to Mr. Robey.” -L.B., Mansfield, Ohio
As the Supreme Court of Ohio has stated, “A fundamental principle in the attorney-client relationship is that the attorney shall maintain the confidentiality of any information learned during the attorney-client relationship.”
Clearly, attorney-client privilege is an important component of an attorney’s ethical responsibilities. However, there are multiple and complex situations when attorney-client privilege may not apply – when the legal process compels the disclosure of privileged information, or when which clients may be deemed to have waived attorney-client privilege.
The first, and most simple, distinction is that what is privileged is the content of the communications between the clients and their lawyers — what clients say or write to their lawyers. The facts about what clients knew, did, or failed to do are not privileged. Therefore, clients cannot hide facts simply by telling them to their lawyers.
In Ohio, the general rules about disclosing information relating to the representation of clients can be summarized as follows: