When you come to an Arizona lawyer to discuss a sensitive legal issue, it’s natural to expect complete confidentiality. Fortunately, in order to encourage clients to be forthright with their attorneys, the law in Arizona and every other state generally protects your confidential information disclosed to your lawyer.
So what exactly are are an Arizona lawyer’s duties when it comes to confidentiality?
Generally speaking, a lawyer's duty of confidentiality means that an attorney cannot disclose any information obtained in the course of a client's legal representation unless the client grants permission. This duty is based on the idea that a lawyer can’t effectively represent a client if he doesn’t know all the facts underlying that client's claims and defenses. The duty of confidentiality encourages clients to be completely honest with their attorney. This ultimately allows people to obtain the best legal representation possible.
Of course, there are a few exceptions to this general rule. One time a lawyer can disclose information shared by a client without the client's consent is if the lawyer's non-disclosure will lead to the bodily harm or death of a third party. Also, in some instances where a lawyer is sued by a client, the lawyer may disclose information regarding that client's representation in order to defend himself. Lawyers mat also be obligated to disclose confidential information to rectify or prevent client fraud or lies inside or out of court. In Arizona, the law with regard to such disclosures depends on the precise facts and circumstances of each case, and you should consult with an Arizona attorney to determine how these rules might apply to your case.