Questions and Answers/Attorney-Client Privilege

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Attorney-Client Privilege

This document provides a summary of the law in this area and answers questions frequently asked of attorneys in the Office of University Counsel.  However, the information presented here is intended for informational purposes only and nothing in this document should be construed or relied upon as legal advice.  You should refer to official University policy or consult with the Office of University Counsel regarding the specific facts and circumstances associated with any legal matter.

The attorney-client privilege preserves the confidentiality of communications between lawyers and their clients. The privilege protects individuals and institutions. Such communications are privileged whether they are oral, written or electronic.

A memorandum from one administrator to another concerning a legal matter typically is not privileged. For the privilege to exist, the communication must be to, from, or with an attorney. In addition, the communication must be for the purpose of requesting or receiving legal advice. The following example illustrates this point.

Communications must be kept confidential for the privilege to apply. If the substance of attorney-client communications is disclosed to persons outside the University or even to persons within the University who are not directly involved in the matter the privilege may be destroyed.

Click here for more information on the attorney-client privilege and work product protection for colleges and universities.


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  Temple University Office of University Counsel
300 Sullivan Hall, 1330 W. Berks Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122-6086
Phone: 215-204-6542, Fax: 215-204-5804
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