Privileged Communication

Interaction between two parties in which the law recognizes a private, protected relationship. Whatever is communicated between these pairs of parties shall remain confidential, and the law cannot force disclosure of these communications. The individual that initially makes the privileged communication legally has the ability to prevent the other party in the relationship from disclosing the content of the privileged communication.

Typically, privileged communications refer to communications between attorney and client, accountant and client, doctor or therapist and patient, priest and parishioner or husband and wife (and, in some states, reporters and their sources). The recipient of the information must keep the communication private, unless the privilege is waived by the discloser of the information.

There are conditions that must be met in order to preserve the confidential status of these communications. First, the communication must be between people in a legally recognized protected relationship. Next, the communication must take place in a private setting, where the communicators have a reasonable expectation of confidentiality (like a private office). Lastly, the privileged status of the communication is lost if or when the communication is shared with a third party that is not part of the protected relationship (however, agents of the recipient of the information - such as an accountant's secretary or a doctor's nurse - would generally not be considered a third party that defeats the privileged status of the communication).


Investment dictionary. . 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • privileged communication — n 1: confidential communication 2 a: a defamatory communication that does not expose the party making it to the liability that would follow from it if not privileged – called also absolutely privileged communication; b: a defamatory stat …   Law dictionary

  • Privileged communication — Privileged Priv i*leged, a. Invested with a privilege; enjoying a peculiar right, advantage, or immunity. [1913 Webster] {Privileged communication}. (Law) (a) A communication which can not be disclosed without the consent of the party making it,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • privileged communication — n. Law 1. a communication that one cannot legally be compelled to divulge, as that to a lawyer from a client 2. a communication made under certain circumstances, as in a legislative proceeding, such that it is not actionable as slander or libel …   English World dictionary

  • privileged communication — Law. See confidential communication. * * * or confidential communication In law, communication between parties to a confidential relation such that the communication s recipient is exempted from disclosing it as a witness. Communications between… …   Universalium

  • privileged communication — noun 1. : a communication between parties to a confidential relation such that the recipient cannot be legally compelled to disclose it as a witness (as a communication between lawyer and client, physician and patient, husband and wife) called… …   Useful english dictionary

  • privileged communication — A communication between persons in such a confidential relationship, be it attorney and client, physician and patient, or confessor and penitent, that public policy prohibits the disclosure thereof by the person to whom it was made, as a witness… …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • privileged communication — priv·i·leged communication priv ə lijd n a communication between parties to a confidential relation (as between physician and patient) such that the recipient cannot be legally compelled to disclose it as a witness …   Medical dictionary

  • conditionally privileged communication — n: privileged communication (2b) Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996 …   Law dictionary

  • absolutely privileged communication — absolutely privileged com·mu·ni·ca·tion n: privileged communication (2a) Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996 …   Law dictionary

  • conditionally privileged communication — One made in good faith on any subject matter in which the person publishing has an interest, or in reference to which he has a duty, if made to a person having a corresponding interest or duty, even though it contains matter which otherwise would …   Black's law dictionary

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