There are certain rules in place that protect those accused of criminal offenses in Colorado and across the United States. Your right to privacy when discussing a legal situation is one of them. So is your right to adequate legal representation when facing criminal charges.
You benefit from confidentiality when you talk to your lawyer about your case. Attorney-client privilege protects you from the disclosure of anything you say to your attorney, even if it could affect your case.
If you know your privacy rights, then you might feel comfortable talking with your lawyer about things that could seem questionable to someone on the outside. Could those discussions come back to haunt you if your attorney provides you with inadequate representation and you have to make a claim of legal malpractice against them?
You do lose some of your privacy rights in certain situations
When you bring a claim of legal malpractice against your former attorney or you appeal a criminal conviction on the basis of inadequate legal counsel, some of your privacy rights end when you file the appeal or civil lawsuit.
While the majority of your communications and interactions will likely remain protected and confidential, matters pertaining to the inadequate representation will not. After all, you need evidence to support your claim that your attorney failed to offer you adequate legal representation.
You may have to go over the records of your communication with your former lawyer carefully to extract necessary evidence without potentially implicating yourself somehow.
What are some examples of records that support your claim?
Perhaps your attorney gave you bad advice regarding your wishes to testify on your own behalf in court. Maybe they directly counseled you and gave you advice that was contrary to legal best practices or an obvious indication that they didn’t know the legal precedent in similar criminal cases.
Any written communication or personal records of conversations indicating that your lawyer was incompetent or unfamiliar with the necessary statutes and precedent could help you demonstrate to the courts that you didn’t receive adequate counsel and guidance while attempting to defend yourself.
Knowing what constitutes legal malpractice can help you fight back if an attorney’s failure leads to your criminal conviction.