In The News

In The News

Friday, April 20, 2018

The President Decries the End of the Attorney-Client Privilege - How We Protect Your Information

By Michael Nichols
Categories: Michael J. Nichols

The attorney-client privilege has been in the news and some say that it is under attack. No matter what your political views: know that we at The Nichols Law Firm are duty-bound to protect your information. Here's how:

Under a Michigan Rule of Professional Conduct, 1.6 the lawyer is obligated to protect the client's secrets and hold them inviolate. Attorneys in Michigan are subject to discipline if we violate MRPC 1.6 and divulge your private information against your wishes. The commentators following the latest issues with President Trump, who had the FBI raid the office of his lawyer, say the privilege is not a constitutional right. That is true. So, why did attorney Michael Cohen go to court to try to keep government lawyers from reading his files? The short answer; HE HAD TO.

A lawyer can be excused from providing or allowing others to read privileged information when a court orders the disclosure. The judge issuing an order is the "trump card" of the privilege. Here are the exceptions under MRPC 1.6:

(c) A lawyer may reveal:

(1) confidences or secrets with the consent of the client or clients affected, but only after full disclosure to them;

(2) confidences or secrets when permitted or required by these rules, or when required by law or by court order;

(3) confidences and secrets to the extent reasonably necessary to rectify the consequences of a client's illegal or fraudulent act in the furtherance of which the lawyer's services have been used;

(4) the intention of a client to commit a crime and the information necessary to prevent the crime; and

(5) confidences or secrets necessary to establish or collect a fee, or to defend the lawyer or the lawyer's employees or associates against an accusation of wrongful conduct.

At the Nichols Law Firm, we keep all financial information locked in a secure office. We keep all files with legal and personal information segregated by lawyer in separate storage locations. We simply do not discuss your private information unless it is in your best interest or we have an order from a court requiring us to do so.

The number of times we represented people with name-recognition yet no one ever knew the person was a client would surprise you. That is the nature of one of the linchpin standards of the legal profession. The purpose of the rule is to foster frank, honest and necessary communication from you as a client so that we can give you educated, fully-informed legal advice.

The privilege is not going anywhere, anytime soon. At the Nichols Law Firm, we consider that a top priority, right up there with getting you the results for which you retained our firm. We are committed to professionalism and committed to results.

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Peer Recognition

Mike Nichols is a national leader in drunk driving defense. He is a member of the Forensic Committee and Michigan delegate to the National College for DUI Defense. He is also a Sustaining Member of the College. Nichols is also a founding member of the Michigan Association of OWI Attorneys; a member of the American Chemical Society; an associate member of he American Academy of Forensic Science, Adjunct Professor of Forensic Evidence in Criminal Law and OWI Law and Practice at Cooley Law School. He is also author of the West OWI Practice book and several chapters in other books on science and the law.

Mike Nichols is recognized by his peers in Michigan as a “SuperLawyer” in DUI/Criminal Defense. Nichols has also been asked to speak at conferences by groups such as the NCDD; Various Bar Associations in other states.