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The Attorney Client Privilege Essay

2257 words - 9 pages

“With liberty and justice for all.” Now this all too familiar clause is often forgotten like the toils of soldiers on the battlefield, repeated ad nauseum throughout the echoing literature left by our founding fathers and throughout the annals of history. America has been shown to persevere through the greatest of trials truly reflecting the American patriot’s desire to not only uphold freedom, equality, justice and humanity, but also to remember the faint yearning whispers of the oppressed crying out “Let freedom ring!” According to Michmerhuizen the Attorney-Client Privilege means “The concepts of lawyer confidentiality and Attorney-Client Privilege both concern information that the lawyer must keep private and are protective of the client’s ability to confide freely in his or her lawyer ” (1). I firmly believe that the Attorney-Client Privilege should not be abolished because it would be changing something our nation has been exposed to for so long, helps build a good relationship between client and attorney, and is most importantly the right of every American citizen. Although the other side of the issue makes valid arguments, the constitutional rights of every American citizen and the long-standing tradition of the Attorney-Client Privilege is the epicenter of the monumental success to our judicial system.
The Attorney- Client Privilege is the agreement between an attorney and their client that mandates the communication between the two parties to be fully confidential and undisclosed under any circumstances (Sheila 138). There are various cases that highlight the importance and practical use of the Attorney-Client Privilege that could help one better understand what this entails. A specific situation in which the Attorney-Client Privilege becomes controversial is when a client reveals to the attorney that he or she has committed the crime in question, yet the attorney must keep the knowledge stated within the conversation confidential. Many would argue that the pillars of fairness and justice are not being served when the attorney can’t disclose this highly valuable information. Conversely, it could be forwarded that the Attorney-Client Privilege upholds justice for all individuals because it protects their constitutional rights and allows for their strongest defense.
Following the history of this privilege, it is hard to abolish something that has been deeply ingrained within the constitution created by the American people. It would be changing something our nation has been exposed to for so long. Geoffrey Hazard traces the history of this law back to ancient Rome, where governors couldn’t call their advocates as witnesses out of the concern that the governors would lose confidence in their own defenders (9). The privilege then found its way in 1577, recognized by the English common law as the Attorney-Client Privilege, and then was adopted by the American colonies and finally codified by Delaware in its first constitution in 1776...

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