Two way traffic ahead

/ 30.Mar, 2011

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently made the most significant ruling with respect to the attorney-client privilege in a number of years.  Strengthening the attorney-client privilege is important to those of us in the legal malpractice defense practice.  In Gillard v. AIG Insurance Co., No. 10 EAP 2010 (Pa. 2011), the Court ruled that the attorney-client privilege “operates in a two-way fashion to protect confidential client-to-attorney or attorney-to-client communications made for the purpose of obtaining or providing professional legal advice.”  The expansion of the privilege to protect not only information from the client to the attorney but also from the attorney to the client is a significant change, or at least clarification, in Pennsylvania law.  Prior to this decision, Pennsylvania case law, while far from settled, strongly supported the position that communication from the attorney to the client was not protected, unless it would reveal client confidences received from the client.  The opinion was written by Justice Saylor, with dissents by Justice Eakin and Justice McCaffery.  The opinion can be found at:

Josh J.T. Byrne, Esquire