The confidentiality of communications between an association and its attorneys is a critical legal protection for the organization. However, the attorney-client privilege has a specific parameter, and it can be inadvertently waived.

Most association leaders are familiar with the concept of attorney-client privilege in the context of engaging outside counsel for litigation or other special projects. If attorney-client privilege applies to a communication, it is protected from disclosure in litigation, creating a safe zone for discussions of sensitive matters. Some association executives incorrectly assume, however, that attorney-client privilege will automatically apply to communications with any association attorney, including in-house general counsel.

Because in-house attorneys are often involved in the association’s business affairs or may have communications with members, it’s not that simple. These more nuanced roles can strip an association attorney’s communications of the presumption that they are protected by attorney-client privilege.

Read the full article in ASAE, here.