Attorneys owe a legal duty of care to their clients. Part of this duty includes keeping sensitive information confidential. This is otherwise known as the attorney-client privilege.
The details of cases should only be discussed between the client and attorney and authorized parties. If case details are leaked, this could amount to a breach of confidentiality which could be categorized as malpractice.
Outlined below are some common examples of breaches of confidentiality.
Discussing the case with friends and family members
Most families discuss how their day went at the table. For those tasked with protecting sensitive information, these conversations have to be restricted. Even if a partner is trying to find out why their spouse is stressed, or the kids are being extra inquisitive, sensitive details of a legal case cannot be shared with unauthorized parties.
Errors can also be breaches
Breaches of confidentiality aren’t always deliberate. Accidental breaches occur all the time, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t damaging. This type of breach frequently occurs when emails are sent to the wrong address in error.
Once details of a case are outside of the authorized parties, they can end up anywhere, including in the wrong hands. For instance, if the email contains sensitive information regarding a business deal, it could end up in the hands of competitors. The end result of this could be serious financial harm.
A breach of confidentiality could cause you both emotional and financial harm. If you feel like you have been the victim of legal malpractice, be sure to explore your options.