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Attorney Client Privilege

I am a grad student. I make movies. I want to make a movie about a prisoner. The person is awaiting trial. They have not entered a plea. I want to go to the prison and speak with them. I want to film the conversation. Can I do this? How do I do this?

When a lawyer speaks with his/her client, the conversation is covered by attorney client privilege. That means that the lawyer cannot talk to anyone else about the conversation. It also means that the DA cannot subpoena the lawyer’s file and the DA will never learn about the conversation unless the client waives the privilege.

Therefore, if a grad student made a movie about a defendant, the contents of all of the conversations between the defendant and the student would be subject to subpoena and admissible into evidence against the defendant, either through the tapes or by actually forcing the grad student to testify as to conversations.

As far as how to do it, it will never come up.

1 Comment on Attorney Client Privilege

  1. Why do you say it will never come up? I think it’s a great idea, first of all, and I would absolutely be willing to help the right person make arrangements with the Philadelphia Prison System. I think that the Warden would put some constraints on the whole thing, but I think it could rather easily be worked out.

    I agree that there is a substantial issue with attorney client privilege. The prisoner’s lawyer would have to advise his client. And, since visitors log books in Philadelphia are electronically recorded and available to the DA, I’m sure the DA could find out. Again, I can think of a lot of ways to work around this.

    I encourage the original poster to contact me – this is an unusual enough request that I think it would be fun to work on.

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