Knowledge Centre

Privilege: The Law of Secrets

Debra G. Woodske
Makenzie M. Johnston
March 2019 CBM Lawyers, Alberta

We have all heard the terms “solicitor-client privilege” and “litigation privilege”, but what they mean and how they are applied can get confused or twisted in practice. This article is an attempt to clarify these categories and provide a bit of a guide practically.

So often when the topic of privilege arises, eyes will start to glaze over and all is tuned out while we think of something more interesting. It is certainly not the sexiest of topics, but it is a critical one when dealing with claims generally or when embroiled in litigation. Whether already engaged in litigation or simply seeking advice, privilege issues arise and can have an impact on how things are addressed moving forward. Privilege can be confusing and, notwithstanding the general belief that so long as a lawyer is involved, everything is protected, it is not. While the scope of privilege is pretty broad, there are limitations. It would be so much easier if privilege were as simple as television would have us believe, but it does not work that way.

To download the complete article in PDF please click here – Privilege – The Law of Secrets.

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