What is Attorney-Client Privilege?

Attorney-client privilege.

What is Attorney-Client Privilege?

Attorneys practicing law in the state of Arizona must abide by the Rules of Professional Conduct as laid out by the State Bar of Arizona as well as state law. Attorney-client privilege is exemplified by the confidentiality that is required between an attorney and their client.

A.R.S. 13-4062 prevents an attorney from being required to testify about their communication with their client during their time of representation in a court of law unless they have the client’s consent to do so.

A.R.S. 12-2234  provides the same protection, but regarding a civil action examination.

Attorney-client privilege allows a client to trust their attorney implicitly, without fear that what they say or disclose to their attorney will be used against them.

This confidentiality privilege only extends to the attorney –  communications that a criminal defendant or a party in a civil case has with friends, family members, witnesses, and anyone else can and will be potentially used against them in a court case. For this reason

Exceptions to Attorney-Client Privilege

Attorney-client privilege is not all-encompassing; it does have a few exceptions. These include:

  • To allow for a defense or claim on the part of the attorney in a controversy between the client and the attorney, such as a lawsuit or other proceeding filed by the client against the attorney.
  • If the client voluntarily waives attorney-client privilege for any reason.
  • If the client makes statements indicating an intent to commit or conceal a crime.

The Arizona State Bar’s Rules of Professional Conduct provide detailed regulations regarding exceptions to attorney-client privilege:

(a) A lawyer shall not reveal information relating to the representation of a client unless the client gives informed consent, the disclosure is impliedly authorized in order to carry out the representation or the disclosure is permitted or required by paragraphs (b), (c) or (d), or ER 3.3(a)(3).

(b) A lawyer shall reveal such information to the extent the lawyer reasonably believes necessary to prevent the client from committing a criminal act that the lawyer believes is likely to result in death or substantial bodily harm.

(c) A lawyer may reveal the intention of the lawyer’s client to commit a crime and the information necessary to prevent the crime.

(d) A lawyer may reveal such information relating to the representation of a client to the extent the lawyer reasonably believes necessary:


(1) to prevent the client from committing a crime or fraud that is reasonably certain to result in substantial injury to the financial interests or property of another and in furtherance of which the client has used or is using the lawyer’s services;


(2) to mitigate or rectify substantial injury to the financial interests or property of another that is reasonably certain to result or has resulted from the client’s commission of a crime or fraud in furtherance of which the client has used the lawyer’s services;


(3) to secure legal advice about the lawyer’s compliance with these Rules;


(4) to establish a claim or defense on behalf of the lawyer in a controversy between the lawyer and the client, to establish a defense to a criminal charge or civil claim against the lawyer based upon conduct in which the client was involved, or to respond to allegations in any proceeding concerning the lawyer’s representation of the client; or


(5) to comply with other law or a final order of a court or tribunal of competent jurisdiction directing the lawyer to disclose such information.


(6) to prevent reasonably certain death or substantial bodily harm.


(7) to detect and resolve conflicts of interest arising from the lawyer’s change of employment or from changes in the composition or ownership of a firm, but only if the revealed information would not compromise the attorney-client privilege or otherwise prejudice the client.


(e) A lawyer shall make reasonable efforts to prevent the inadvertent or unauthorized disclosure of, or unauthorized access to, information relating to the representation of a client.



Rideout Law Group takes attorney-client privilege seriously. Call us today to ensure your rights are protected.



With offices in Lake Havasu City and Scottsdale, our firm serves the entire state of Arizona, with a particular focus on criminal defense, family law, and juvenile cases.

Our goal is for the best outcome for your criminal case, which can include:

  • charges that are reduced or dropped.
  • top experts reviewing your case.
  • aggressive negotiations with the prosecution for plea bargains.
  • fines or probation in lieu of jail time.

At Rideout Law Group, our attorneys are able to expertly examine the evidence in your case to provide a strong strategy for argument that leads to an outcome that is most favorable to you. We have experience in all types of criminal cases for both adults and juveniles, with positive outcomes both in plea negotiations as well as jury trial settings.

Call us today for a free consultation at 480-584-3328.

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