Atlanta, GA asked in Criminal Law for Georgia

Q: If I told an attorney (and provided proof) his client suborned perjury, are both those communication protected

If I advised a criminal defense attorney (not my attorney) that, it appears his client suborned perjury and I provide him proof of the questionable communication, are those communications* protected by attorney client privilege?

.I realize my confidentiality would not be protected. I am talking about his client’s.

*By “those communications”, I mean my communication with the attorney and his client’s communication with me.

In other words: Is the defense consul restricted by attorney-client privilege to only share those communications with his client OR . . .

. . . as an officer of the court, would he be obligated to share evidence of a new crime [a crime he wasn’t hired/assigned to (insert appropriate verb)] to the authorities?

If it matters: the hypothetical problematic communication was about the case he is hypothetically lead council on.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Joshua Schiffer
Joshua Schiffer
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Roswell, GA
  • Licensed in Georgia

A: Lawyers are allowed to use non-privileged communications as they see fit in their advocacy for their client. You reporting a "crime" their client may have previously committed would not necessarily force them to do anything, and how they use that information is up to their own ethical analysis.

I can see how in the future that Attorney may be forced to reveal your communication, however courts are very wary when it comes to accusing a lawyer of violating ethics and non-corroborated reporting of something as effusive as "lying/perjury" is going to be tough to start with.

It would be very different if the perjury/lying was reported to law enforcement or another court officer. Your one time allegation is nothing more than a notice of accusation, I imagine.

Tough issue and hard to do a full analysis without more facts.

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