In workers’ compensation cases, communications between you and your attorney are protected by the attorney-client privilege. If your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company takes your deposition, you should get familiar with what the privilege means and how it protects your communications.
The attorney-client privilege protects communications between you and your attorneys from disclosure to other people, like your employer’s or the insurer’s attorneys, the judge, or nearly anyone else. That means you do not have to tell these people about legal strategy that you discussed with your lawyers. The privilege also protects any other conversation that you and your lawyers have that is related to the subject of the representation, meaning related to your workplace injury.
The privilege covers “communications” with your attorney. Factual information about you or your injury, such as your medical history or your work history, likely would not be protected. However, if you and your lawyer have a conversation about your medical history during which your lawyer shares his thoughts about how a prior injury will affect your case, that conversation is protected.
Attorney-client privilege usually extends to communications by or through other people who work with your attorneys or whose presence is necessary for the lawyer to adequately represent you. This includes paralegals and legal assistants at your lawyer’s firm and translators. Your lawyers and their staff must keep all communications with you confidential too. They cannot share what you tell them with other people, except in rare situations. Generally, attorneys have a duty of confidentiality regarding their clients’ cases.
You hold the attorney-client privilege, so if you share information about your case with people besides your lawyer and his or her firm staff, you lose the privilege’s protection. In other words, the other attorneys or the judge can ask you about these communications once you have shared them with people who are not your attorney. This could, in some situations, possibly hurt your workers’ compensation case. You might accidently disclose your lawyer’s strategy or details about your case not known to the insurer’s attorney. It is smart to be careful about keeping attorney-client communications confidential.
If you have more questions about attorney-client privilege in Minnesota workers’ compensation cases, speak to a lawyer about your case. By talking to a lawyer, you may get a lot of help during the workers’ comp process and recover the benefits that you need.
Were you injured at work and think you are entitled to workers’ compensation? Joe Osterbauer, Esq. and the Osterbauer Law Firm stand up for injured Minnesota workers’ rights. Joe’s 27 years of workers’ compensation experience and his team’s speedy service combine to get clients the results they need. To schedule a free consultation, visit Osterbauer Law Firm online or call Joe’s office at (612) 334-3434.