Question about Professional Responsibility

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lsatextreme
Posts: 523
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 2:18 am

Question about Professional Responsibility

Postby lsatextreme » Sat Nov 30, 2013 11:14 pm

So I understand that the attorney-client privilege is not just limited to communications but also observations made by the attorney as a result of the communication, unless the attorney ends up tampering with the observed evidence that prevents prosecution from discovering it in its original state (like in People v. Meredith). So the conclusion is that, had the attorney merely observed the evidence and left it there, then the attorney has no duty to submit the evidence to prosecution and is not required to reveal the location of the evidence.

My question concerns the implications that follow from this: So you're tell me, if the client tells the attorney, "i killed a man and hid his body behind the wall in my basement" and the attorney goes to the client's house and actually observes the dead body, then the attorney is NOT obligated to reveal the location of this body to authorities? Isn't this against the interests of justice somehow or is this the rule or am i missing something here? And if say the authorities never discover the body, then the attorney just sits there with his hands tied and lips shut about the body he observed?

I only say the body example because I understand that if the observed evidence was a murder weapon or something, then sure, the attorney shouldn't be making assumptions or anything about what his client did or did not do, but a dead body!?


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dannynoonan87
Posts: 236
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:36 pm

Re: Question about Professional Responsibility

Postby dannynoonan87 » Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:56 pm

People v. Belge, 372 N.Y.S.2d 798 (Sup. Ct. Onondaga Cnty. 1975).




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