If disclosure of a case cited in a document covered by the attorney-client privilege is requested, does this constitute a valid exception to the privilege?
Only disclosure of the case, which is already published and in the public record, and not the entire document is requested.
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If the case cited is a matter of public record, it can hardly be a matter of attorney-client privilege. The privilege extends to matters which the client shares with the attorney and could not normally be discovered without the attorney divulging that information. In the present instance, a cited case in the public record--assuming the record is not sealed--would hardly constitute privileged communication. It could be discovered by other means, therefore the privilege would not apply. An attorney should be exceptionally careful, however, that no information that is NOT available as a public record is divulged, and in any instance the wiser practice is to allow the other party to discover it on his own without divulging any information. Although technically not a breach of privilege, it does not constitute zealous representation of a client; in fact it could compromise the client's position, and could cause the client to lose confidence in the attorney. Best position, say nothing, do nothing. Don't do the other side's homework for them.
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