25 May Bankruptcy Consultations With A Trusted Friend
Bankruptcy and lawyer/client confidentiality are strange bedfellows. Conversations between clients and their attorneys are usually confidential, although there are exceptions such as participation in ongoing crimes and preventing harm to others. Additionally, the conversation must be between you and your lawyer without anyone else present, except perhapsa spouse who may have spousal privilege.
Many people are very nervous and scared about talking to a lawyer, so they will want to bring a friend or family member with them to the consultation. If you bring a third person into the room, you may break that confidentiality and the information revealed may be used against you. For most ordinary people going through bankruptcy, there isnâ€™t anything to hide and so confidentiality isnâ€™t a big issue. In that case, you may find it helpful to have a trusted friend there to help you remember what you learn.
Confidentiality can be very important privilege between an attorney and their client depending on the nature of the conversation and what the legal issue is.You’ve probably watched TV law shows, and seen someone put on the stand and forced to say things about the defendent? Well, if the information is under the legal confidential umbrella, the lawyer can’t be put on the stand and forced to tell what she knows about her client.
Even without legal confidentiality, that doesnâ€™t mean that your lawyer will go and tell everyone everything they know about you because they can. Lawyers do use discretion. However, if there is any concern about something you say to your lawyer being used against you, you should not have anyone else present for the discussion and you should speak to your attorney about the issue.
Bankruptcy attorney confidentiality can be limited anyway, depending on the specific state ethic rules of your attorneyâ€™s state. While the conversations you have with a lawyer are initially confidential, the bankruptcy laws require a debtor to disclose everything there is to disclose about assets, liabilities, income, debts and past financial dealings. No lawyer can deliberately file documents that donâ€™t contain the truth, and confidentiality wonâ€™t shield the information. They are not obligated to help you commit fraud, and lying under oath in preparation of bankruptcy documents is fraud. Bankruptcy fraud is a serious matter, as explained bySouth Carolina bankruptcy attorney Dana Wilkinson, and Oregon bankruptcy attorney Karen Oakes talks about fraud in her articleBankruptcy Basics: Bankruptcy Fraud can lead to Truth or Consequences
Ethical rules about confidentiality vary from state to state. Once your case is failure to tell the truth may be considered an ongoing crime of which an attorney, who knows of an inaccuracy, may have to inform the court of that error, omission or mistake.
I find that most people are careful to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth in general, and they want the documents prepared correctly and clean so they donâ€™t have to worry about anything coming back to bite them. Besides that, most people don’t like to lie.
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