Tip of the Month

Tip for April 2018

Know What Communications with a Prospective Client are Privileged

ABA Model Rule 1.18, which has been adopted by many states, recognizes that, a lawyer who has learned information from a prospective client may not use or reveal that information, except as Rule 1.9 would permit with respect to information of a former client. This is true even when no client-lawyer relationship ensues. Lawyers should be careful to distinguish between communications before the lawyer declines to take the legal matter, and communications that occur after the declination occurs. In People v. Peterson, 2017 IL 120331 (September 21, 2017), however, the Illinois Supreme Court held that where a prospective client continues to communicate with the attorney after the attorney's refusal to represent her, statements made after the employment is declined are not privileged.