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Hal Garfinkel is retained as the defendant's lawyer in the Chicago high profile murder case of Marlen Ochoa-Lopez. Read more...
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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.

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your rights, Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal defense lawyer, Not all conversations are admissible in court. The law gives special protection to communications between certain individuals, prohibiting the introduction of these communications in court. One of the more famous “protected conversations” is the conversation that takes place between an attorney and his or her client. The idea behind protecting these conversations from disclosure is to allow clients to speak freely and truthfully with their attorneys. Despite this legal protection, however, some law enforcement officers still attempt to listen into what clients tell their attorneys, a violation of that attorney-client privilege.

In a recent publicized case, a criminal defendant was brought in for an interview relating to a manslaughter investigation. As most such interviews are, this particular interview was recorded using a video camera and microphone. When police needed to take a break, they left the defendant in the interview room with his two defense attorneys – and they left the recording equipment on. Over the next 11 minutes of conversation, police recorded a discussion between the defendant his attorneys about trial strategy. Law enforcement claimed the eavesdropping was unintentional, while the defendant argued that not only were his constitutional rights violated, but that law enforcement violated federal and state eavesdropping laws.

The Attorney-Client Privilege and “Poisonous Fruit”

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