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What is attorney-client privilege? Are communications subject to attorney-client privilege only if they contain an explicit notice notifying as much?

(1) What is attorney-client privilege?

Attorney-client privilege protects certain communications made between the Township and your Township attorney from disclosure to members of the public, hostile individuals or outside entities. Not all communications between the Township and the Township attorney are subject to attorney-client privilege. The communication must be intended to be confidential, and concern legal advice.

(2) Are communications subject to attorney-client privilege only if they contain an explicit notice notifying as much?

No. Township officials and employees receive a wide range of documents and correspondences from their trusted legal counsel during the course of performing their official functions and duties. A portion of those documents or correspondences, including legal opinions, memorandums, or emails, will include a prelude similar to the following: “CONFIDENTIAL CORRESPONDENCE SUBJECT TO ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGE.” Regardless of whether explicitly noticed, the privilege attaches to any communication made to, from, or with your Township attorney intended to be confidential for the purpose of requesting or receiving legal advice.

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