2021 Florida Statutes (Including 2021B Session)
90.502 Lawyer-client privilege.—
(1) For purposes of this section:
(a) A “lawyer” is a person authorized, or reasonably believed by the client to be authorized, to practice law in any state or nation.
(b) A “client” is any person, public officer, corporation, association, or other organization or entity, either public or private, who consults a lawyer with the purpose of obtaining legal services or who is rendered legal services by a lawyer.
(c) A communication between lawyer and client is “confidential” if it is not intended to be disclosed to third persons other than:
1. Those to whom disclosure is in furtherance of the rendition of legal services to the client.
2. Those reasonably necessary for the transmission of the communication.
(2) A client has a privilege to refuse to disclose, and to prevent any other person from disclosing, the contents of confidential communications when such other person learned of the communications because they were made in the rendition of legal services to the client.
(3) The privilege may be claimed by:
(a) The client.
(b) A guardian or conservator of the client.
(c) The personal representative of a deceased client.
(d) A successor, assignee, trustee in dissolution, or any similar representative of an organization, corporation, or association or other entity, either public or private, whether or not in existence.
(e) The lawyer, but only on behalf of the client. The lawyer’s authority to claim the privilege is presumed in the absence of contrary evidence.
(4) There is no lawyer-client privilege under this section when:
(a) The services of the lawyer were sought or obtained to enable or aid anyone to commit or plan to commit what the client knew was a crime or fraud.
(b) A communication is relevant to an issue between parties who claim through the same deceased client.
(c) A communication is relevant to an issue of breach of duty by the lawyer to the client or by the client to the lawyer, arising from the lawyer-client relationship.
(d) A communication is relevant to an issue concerning the intention or competence of a client executing an attested document to which the lawyer is an attesting witness, or concerning the execution or attestation of the document.
(e) A communication is relevant to a matter of common interest between two or more clients, or their successors in interest, if the communication was made by any of them to a lawyer retained or consulted in common when offered in a civil action between the clients or their successors in interest.
(5) Communications made by a person who seeks or receives services from the Department of Revenue under the child support enforcement program to the attorney representing the department shall be confidential and privileged as provided for in this section. Such communications shall not be disclosed to anyone other than the agency except as provided for in this section. Such disclosures shall be protected as if there were an attorney-client relationship between the attorney for the agency and the person who seeks services from the department.
History.—s. 1, ch. 76-237; s. 1, ch. 77-77; s. 22, ch. 78-361; s. 1, ch. 78-379; s. 16, ch. 92-138; s. 12, ch. 94-124; s. 1378, ch. 95-147; s. 1, ch. 2000-316.