Are There Exceptions to Lawyer Confidentiality in Canada?

September 29th, 2021
Are There Exceptions to Lawyer Confidentiality in Canada

Under Canadian law, there are two different types of lawyer confidentiality: the solicitor-client privilege and the duty of confidentiality. As a client or potential client, you may wonder if there are any exceptions to these types of confidentialities. The answer is yes, rarely. First, let’s look at what the difference is between the two types.

Duty of Confidentiality

This covers everything that your lawyers learns or uncovers while he or she is acting as your lawyer, not just what you tell him or her while you are asking for advice or discussing your case.

Solicitor-Client Privilege

This covers specifically what you discuss with your lawyer while your lawyer is working on your case. It also covers documents or information that you give you lawyer to help with your defence.

There are four main types of exceptions to lawyer-client privilege in Canada, listed below. However, keep in mind that this is a complicated domain, and we are discussing it very briefly here in this blog.

1.      Public Safety

If a lawyer has learned that there is imminent and obvious danger to someone else, he or she make break confidentiality.

2.      Crime/Fraud

Information is not privileged if someone is getting legal advice to facilitate committing a crime.

3.      Innocence of the Accused

If a lawyer has information proving the innocence of someone else, and there is no other way to obtain this information, privilege may be waived.

4.      Fees and Charges Against Lawyers

Confidentiality may be waived if needed in order for a lawyer to collect fees or defend him or herself against charges brought by a client. Similarly, confidentiality may be waived if a law society needs information to defend another lawyer against charges.

Michael Bloom is a very experienced criminal defence lawyer, who started his career as a Crown Prosecutor.

If you have any questions about this article or would like to schedule a free consultation with Mr. Bloom, please call his office at (604) 603-5513 or Toll-Free at (877) 603-5513.

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