Chapter 4 - C. Privileges

JurisdictionUnited States
C. Privileges

In the context of a judicial proceeding, a privilege is an evidentiary rule that gives a person the right to prevent disclosure of certain information. Privilege, Black's Law Dictionary (11th ed. 2019). The rationale for preventing disclosure is not because the evidence to be disclosed is unreliable (as with other exclusionary rules), but because of public-policy interests—such as the importance of keeping certain information confidential to encourage certain relationships (e.g., attorney-client, clergy-penitent, psychotherapist-patient, husband-wife), the need to protect privacy interests (e.g., officer's records), the need to foster cooperation with important government functions (e.g., official information), and the need to protect the accusatorial nature of the criminal-justice system (e.g...

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