Is it a Good Idea to Bring a Friend to Your Consultation with Your Lawyer?

An initial consultation with a lawyer, particularly when relating to a family matter, can be a stressful time, making it difficult to think clearly.  Some clients ask to bring a friend, sibling or parent to the meeting for assistance or moral support.  Although this may seem helpful, it is not always a good idea.

Waiving the attorney-client privilege and confidentiality

When you bring a third person into a consultation with your lawyer you are waiving your attorney-client privilege not just for that person, but in general for the contents of the consultation.  A waiver of the attorney client privilege is seldom advisable.

In addition, your communications with your lawyer are confidential.  This confidentiality allows you to provide information about your entire situation, even that which may be damaging or embarrassing, with the security that it will remain confidential.  If you bring another person into the consultation, you lose this confidentiality which would otherwise encourage the frank exchange of information which is beneficial for your representation.

If you would like to bring another person to the consultation with your lawyer it is best to discuss this with your lawyer in advance to be sure it is advisable in your situation.