Sometimes it seems as though everything about us is part of a perpetual, border-less TV program.
When was the last time that you heard someone say "that's personal"?, meaning that it's none of your business?
Ours culture's emotional addiction to social media leaves very little to authentic privacy and confidentiality. But, when it comes to your legal representation, confidentiality and privacy are absolutely paramount.
Here are five ways to help safeguard your personal information, confidentiality and privacy when you are involved in a legal matter.
Keep quiet. Don't talk about your case, the evidence, the witnesses or anything at all related to your matter with anyone other than your lawyer. "Loose lips sink ships" was coined during World War II to admonish people to be careful that the risk of what they said out loud might be heard and used by the enemy. These are still very instructive words today.
Don't email confidential documents unless they're encrypted or password protected so that only the recipient can open and print them. This goes for healthcare records or any confidential legal documents.
Never provide your date of birth, social security or other personal identifying information to anyone other than your attorney. It is very common for insurance companies and other corporate litigants as well as their attorneys to ask for this information. Your answer should always be "no".
Don't provide written authorizations of any kind to any person or company other than your attorney. It has become very common for attorneys to have their clients sign authorizations so that opposing attorneys, law firms and insurance companies can obtain client records directly rather than going through the client's legal representative. This is generally a very lazy way to practice law and a deficient way to protect and advocate.
Avoid any possible mention of your case or even the overall subject matter of your case on social media. Not only do such references encourage busy bodies, they also frequently provide free investigative material to opposing lawyers and insurance companies.
Attorneys should guard client information with a degree of diligence and even paranoia that would intimidate the CIA. At the Maddox Law Firm, we approach this obligation to our clients with extreme care that is checked and re-checked on multiple levels. In fact, If you see one of us outside of the firm or our practice, don't be offended if we seem to be ignoring you. We kind of are doing just that.
It's only because we want to protect your privacy.