I'm in California Can I discuss the character of one of my employees with my lawyer I am especially nervous about it because my lawyer has become close friends with my employee. I'm afraid that my lawyer and employee might try and hurt me in some way My l

Is it defamation of character if I tell the lawyer all the reasons I can no longer employ this person

1 answer  |  asked Nov 6, 2015 09:52 AM [EST]  |  applies to California

Answers (1)

Marilynn Mika Spencer
Legally, you certainly can discuss your employees with you attorney and if you are in any way confidentially consulting your attorney as an attorney, discussing legal issues, or anything smelling like law, then your attorney is required by the California Rules of Professional Responsibility to retain your confidences, and to do so under all circumstances and no matter what. That said, some lawyers are better at honoring this obligation than are others. If you want to discuss something about your employee who is also a friend of this lawyer without having to worry about it, then you shouldn't speak with your lawyer.

A broader issue is your relationship with your attorney. If you have an attorney you cannot trust, then by all means get a different attorney. If you are afraid of you attorney for any reason, get a different one. If you think your attorney might hurt you, get a different attorney. You need to be able to speak freely with your lawyer – that's the whole basis for the attorney-client privilege. You need to be able to trust your attorney.

I don't understand how you ended up with an attorney you are afraid of, but this is no way to run a business and no way to live your life.

posted by Marilynn Mika Spencer  |  Nov 7, 2015 09:42 AM [EST]

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