Privilege is one of the most important legal concepts that an attorney can be versed in. Inadvertently waiving the attorney/client privilege or the psychotherapist/patient privilege, for example, can have dire consequences for clients and attorneys alike. An interesting blog post by our esteemed colleagues in the Business Litigation and Employment Law groups got me (well, really Nancy) thinking about a lesser known privilege known as the common interest privilege and how same is relevant to divorce.
First, a little background on the Common Interest Privilege. According to the Restatement (Third) of the Law Governing Lawyers, a riveting legal treatise more commonly used to prop up a wobbly desk, the common interest privilege applies…
The bartender-patron privilege is only taken slightly less seriously.
Privileges in litigation are important tools they generally mean information can be withheld from the other side and the court because the privilege exists.
In matrimonial litigation (I love big words) a frequently invoked privilege is really a disqualification which means that private conversations between spouses can stay private. Other frequently used privileges are the patient-psychotherapist privilege and the lawyer-client privilege, both of which are designed to keep confidential communications confidential.
Another frequently used privilege, but not one that is often talked about, is the “Common Interest Privilege,” about which my talented colleague Andrea Dunbar has written a post.
Divorce is more common than ever. According to the Center for Disease Control, another trend on the rise is the prevalence of Attention Deficit Disorder (“ADD”) and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (“ADHD”) diagnosed in young children. As a family law attorney, I’ve seen how the overlap between the two can lead to increased conflict between divorced or divorcing parents as to how to handle their ADHD child’s medical and special education plan.
Often, a child with ADD, ADHD or another learning disability will require a specialized list of accommodations or alterations to the school’s general education plan in order to address the child’s unique disability as well as the child’s learning style. The two must common types of specialized education plan are the 504 plan and Individual Education Plan (“IEP”).