Louisiana Code of Evidence Art. 506. Lawyer-client privilege




A. Definitions.  As used in this Article:

(1) “Client” is a person, including a public officer, corporation, partnership, unincorporated association, or other organization or entity, public or private, to whom professional legal services are rendered by a lawyer, or who consults a lawyer with a view to obtaining professional legal services from the lawyer.

(2) “Representative of the client” is:

(a) A person having authority to obtain professional legal services, or to act on advice so obtained, on behalf of the client.

(b) Any other person who makes or receives a confidential communication for the purpose of effectuating legal representation for the client, while acting in the scope of employment for the client.

(3) “Lawyer” is a person authorized, or reasonably believed by the client to be authorized, to practice law in any state or nation.

(4) “Representative of the lawyer” is a person engaged by the lawyer to assist the lawyer in the lawyer's rendition of professional legal services.

(5) A communication is “confidential” if it is not intended to be disclosed to persons other than:

(a) Those to whom disclosure is made in furtherance of obtaining or rendering professional legal services for the client.

(b) Those reasonably necessary for the transmission of the communication.

(c) When special circumstances warrant, those who are present at the behest of the client and are reasonably necessary to facilitate the communication.

B. General rule of privilege.  A client has a privilege to refuse to disclose, and to prevent another person from disclosing, a confidential communication, whether oral, written, or otherwise, made for the purpose of facilitating the rendition of professional legal services to the client, as well as the perceptions, observations, and the like, of the mental, emotional, or physical condition of the client in connection with such a communication, when the communication is:

(1) Between the client or a representative of the client and the client's lawyer or a representative of the lawyer.

(2) Between the lawyer and a representative of the lawyer.

(3) By the client or his lawyer, or a representative of either, to a lawyer, or representative of a lawyer, who represents another party concerning a matter of common interest.

(4) Between representatives of the client or between the client and a representative of the client.

(5) Among lawyers and their representatives representing the same client.

(6) Between representatives of the client's lawyer.

C. Exceptions.  There is no privilege under this Article as to a communication:

(1)(a) If the services of the lawyer were sought or obtained to enable or aid anyone to commit or plan to commit what the client or his representative knew or reasonably should have known to be a crime or fraud.

(b) Made in furtherance of a crime or fraud.

(2) Which was with a client now deceased relevant to an issue between parties who claim through that client, regardless of whether the claims are by testate or intestate succession or by transaction inter vivos.

(3) Which is relevant to an issue of breach of duty by a lawyer to the client or by a client to the client's lawyer.

(4)(a) Which is relevant to an issue of authenticity or capacity concerning a document which the lawyer signed as a witness or notary.

(b) Concerning the testimony of a representative of a lawyer regarding a communication relevant to an issue of authenticity or capacity concerning a document to which the representative is a witness or notary.

(5) Which is relevant to a matter of common interest between or among two or more clients if the communication was made by any of them or their representative to a lawyer or his representative retained or consulted in common, when subsequently offered by one client against the other in a civil action.

(6) Concerning the identity of the lawyer's client or his representative, unless disclosure of the identity by the lawyer or his representative would reveal either the reason for which legal services were sought or a communication which is otherwise privileged under this Article.

D. Who may claim privilege.  The privilege may be claimed by the client, the client's agent or legal representative, or the successor, trustee, or similar representative of a client that is a corporation, partnership, unincorporated association, or other organization, whether or not in existence.  The person who was the lawyer or the lawyer's representative at the time of the communication is presumed to have authority to claim the privilege on behalf of the client, former client, or deceased client.





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