Attorney Client Privilege

Confidential Advice

We guarantee confidential communications, consistent with state law and the ethical requirements of the North Carolina Bar. We are prohibited from, and can be ourselves criminally prosecuted, for advising you about how to obstruct justice or commit future crimes.

However, communications are protected by attorney-client privilege, a privilege that is as broad and strong as any other privilege that exists in the law. The confidentiality of those communications is in effect even before you retain us to represent you.

In very sensitive cases, we require in-person communications in confidential rooms. While we are happy to discuss - with your permission - your case and options with you and family, we do not as a matter of practice discuss any details of any case with others unless you explicitly give us permission to do so.

In serious cases, we may ask you to sign a waiver allowing us to speak with others about your case.

Protected Communications

We do not communicate via text about any facts of your case or anything that may be confidential. We use protected systems - such as the secure Signal application - to ensure that our communications are not subject to surveillance.

We also use encryption programs, such as the industry-standard Pretty Good Privacy (PGP), in confidential email communications.

Paper files are locked in our offices. We maintain digital files in secure locations, and backups are similarly secured.

Court Ordered Protective Requirements

We have extensive experience with court-ordered protective requirements that are imposed in cases involving sealed cases or cases involving open investigations, or confidential informants.

Before consenting to a protective order, we will discuss the implications with you and talk about how we can challenge such an order or negotiate a more acceptable order in your case.

In cases where the court may order confidentiality, we may be prohibited by the court from providing you a with a copy of your discovery. But we will allow you as much time as you need to review the discoverable material in our presence or in secure rooms at our offices.

Advice Informed by Experience

Having handled thousands of cases involving investigations, complex federal investigations, law enforcement sting operations, FBI task force investigations, confidential-informant agreements, state and federal debriefs, grand jury testimony, and high-profile prosecutions, our advice is informed by years of experience.

We do not promise the impossible, and cannot, in accordance with bar rules, guarantee results.

We plan for the worst, and work for the best.

Exceptions to these Confidentiality Protections

The law creates exceptions to the protections guaranteed to you by a lawyers' promise to keep the conversation confidential and private. If you are engaged in an ongoing criminal enterprise, the lawyer may not assist you by giving you advice. In addition, if you tell a lawyer that you plan to commit a crime in the future, the lawyer may be required to inform authorities.

Past Conduct

A lawyer may not divulge or reveal information you have provided about past conduct, without your approval.

A murder you committed yesterday? The lawyer may not tell anyone without your consent. This attorney-client privilege is an essential part of criminal defense representation, allowing you to divulge your secrets to a lawyer so that the lawyer can properly advise you about the best course forward.

Developing Trust

Having spoken to thousands of people over the years, we know that trust is only developed over time. Even though it is advantageous to tell us the truth at the beginning of representation, we know that clients are sometimes not entirely candid or truthful early int the representation.

We encourage clients (or potential clients) to tell us the full truth. We do not judge. But we understand that clients can sometimes only feel comfortable speaking about the most embarrassing conduct later in representation. We do not judge. We listen, advise, and work to obtain the best possible outcome.

Counselors, not Judges

We do not judge our clients. Often people are afraid to tell us their worst secrets because they are afraid we will judge them. We focus on honesty in communications; we do not judge.

Having heard the most terrible details and accusations, we cannot be shocked. We are professionals who know that clients come to us in their worst moments. We allow them to speak, we listen, we advise, and we defend.

We do not judge.

More About North Carolina Professional Rules

For more about these rules, read the official rules from the North Carolina State Bar, which is the agency that regulates lawyers, and publishes North Carolina's Rules of Professional Conduct.