By Marc C. Laredo
The attorney-client privilege protects confidential communications — between a client or prospective client and an attorney — made for the primary purpose of obtaining legal advice or assistance. Except in a few limited circumstances, the attorney cannot reveal these confidential communications to a third party or in the course of any legal proceeding. The applicability of the attorney-client privilege is usually fought out in the courtroom. The underlying communications that are the subject of those disputes, however, may occur far earlier, oftentimes before either a cause of action comes into existence or litigation is ever contemplated.