Where Do States Articulate Their Attorney-Client Privilege Law?

August 8, 2007

The attorney-client privilege grew organically through common law development first in England and then in the United States. Eventually some states codified their attorney-client privilege.

In The Tennessean v. Tennessee Department of Personnel, No. M2005-02578-COA-R3-CV, 2007 Tenn. App. LEXIS 267, at *16 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 27, 2007), a Tennessee state court explained that “[i]n Tennessee, certain attorney client communications are made confidential under three different sources of state law: statute, common law, and rules promulgated by the Tennessee Supreme Court.”

Lawyers exploring states’ attorney-client privilege laws must examine several possible sources of guidance.