My lawyer confessed a crime to me!?
March 6, 2012 8:23 AM Subscribe
First, I know most of you are not a lawyer and none of you are my lawyer. I understand the basic protections and requirements surrounding attorney-client privilege. I have an ethical, and potentially legal, dilemma. While consulting with my attorney recently, my attorney admitted to having committed a crime.
Without going into detail, it's likely a felony in every state and is generally considered to be morally reprehensible. It was unrelated to the reason I was meeting with him. I'm not sure why he mentioned it; it was an aside, but it was during our meeting about the reason the lawyer is representing me. (I'm certain he didn't intend to say it ... people have a habit of readily disclosing personal things to me.) The problem I have ... I'm not 100% sure if his comment would be protected by attorney-client privilege. I suspect not (70% sure), but at the same time if I were to mention it to authorities I feel this could result in unintentionally waiving my right to the privilege, which could create legal issues for me, and would certainly create a conflict of interest with the existing attorney. Ethically, I'm now uncomfortable with this lawyer, though. To further complicate, the attorney is appointed and I don't know that it would be possible to change ... or at least without running into the same potential problems. Should I just try to forget I heard anything or do what I consider the ethically right thing which might accidentally screw me over legally?