Confidentiality of Attorney Consultations

attorney-client privilege, professional conduct, Illinois Criminal Defense AttorneyWhen you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, you deserve the best possible representation from an attorney you can trust. The major concern for many, of course, is how to go about establishing that trust, especially if you have never needed legal counsel before. Before retaining a particular lawyer or law firm, you may speak with several, in an effort to determine your ability to work with that office and to ensure your respective goals and values are complementary. This process, however, can raise questions for individuals regarding confidentiality, as a potential defendant may share sensitive information in the course of no-obligation consultations with a number of potential candidates.

Rules of Conduct

In their practice, attorneys must adhere to certain professional and ethical standards. Such standards are typically drafted for use in the applicable jurisdictions, and failure to comply can result in serious sanctions against an attorney, up to and including potential disbarment. The accepted standards provide guidelines for much of an attorney’s practice including selecting cases, firm management, relationship with the court, and, of course, confidentiality. In Illinois, these regulations have been set forth in the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct, which constitutes Article VIII of the Illinois Supreme Court Rules.

Prospective Clients

According to Rule 1.18 of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct, anyone “who discusses with a lawyer the possibility of forming client-lawyer relationship with respect to a matter is a prospective client.” (Emphasis added.). The rules go on to clarify that information disclosed by a prospective client may not be revealed and or used except to determine if the attorney is ethically able to represent that person. Confidentiality is not contingent upon the official establishment of a client-lawyer relationship.

This means that, in effect, your consultation with an attorney is confidential, regardless of your decision in retaining his or her services. In criminal matters, this can be particularly reassuring, as those charged with a crime are often understandably concerned about the details of their charges being disseminated without consent.

If you are facing allegations of criminal activity, you should know that at the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney, we take our ethical responsibilities very seriously. Our experienced Illinois criminal defense attorneys understand your need for confidentiality, and pledge to uphold your trust throughout the process. Call 312-270-0999 today to schedule your free, confidential consultation and find out how we are equipped to help you.

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PHONE: 312-270-0999

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