The attorney-client privilege preserves the confidentiality of communications, oral or written, between lawyers and their clients. For the privilege to exist, the communication must be to, from, or with an attorney for the purpose of requesting or receiving legal advice. The privilege is designed so that clients will be encouraged to be completely truthful with their attorneys. As a result, the lawyer is able to give appropriate legal advice based on all relevant facts, thereby promoting voluntary compliance with laws and regulations.
The privilege was originally developed to protect individuals in their relationships with their attorneys; however, the privilege also applies to institutions. Therefore, any confidential communications that you have with the attorneys in the Office of Legal Affairs, for the purpose of seeking legal advice concerning university legal matters, are protected by the attorney-client privilege.
It is important to remember that confidentiality is the key to preserving the privileged nature of the communication. If the substance of the attorney-client communication is disclosed to persons outside RIT, or even to persons within the university who are not directly involved in the matter, the privilege may be lost. Therefore, when you have had confidential communications with attorneys representing RIT, you should not discuss those communications with anyone outside of the university, and limit disclosure of the communication only to those persons within RIT who have a business necessity for the information.
When you request legal advice concerning RIT business, the attorneys in the Office of Legal Affairs are committed to preserving the privileged nature of all confidential communications.