Will My Lawyer Divulge My Secrets?
Is your attorney putting your privacy at risk? What information is considered private during a divorce? What is considered public record?How can you tell if your attorney is keeping your information private?
Is my lawyer keeping my information private? Transcript
Hi, I’m Lee Rosen. Is my lawyer keeping my private information private?
I don’t want to make you paranoid, but you need to worry about your privacy as you go through a divorce. Identity theft is something we talk about and see happen all the time today. Confidential records are revealed. Information comes out in ways we don’t expect, and you need to be thinking about that as you go through this process. All of your personal life is revealed as we go through a divorce.
People are going to be looking at your tax returns and your investments and your retirement plans. You name it, medical records. It’s everything that there is that relates to your personal issues is going to come out through this process. Some of it will be public, and it will be revealed in court if you end up in court and aren’t able to reach an agreement.
But at a minimum, most of the information that’s available about you is going to be accessed by your attorney. You’re going to be having private conversations about private records. That is to be expected. It’s normal. It’s what happens. And you need to be sure that your privacy is being protected. The last thing you want is for people in the community, in your neighborhood or worse case, on the Internet, to be discussing your private business.
So I want you to be very concerned about protecting your privacy and making sure that your attorney, that your legal team is doing their utmost to make sure that your personal privacy is protected. So how do you make sure that your privacy is being protected? How do be sure that your information is secure?
Well, now next time you go to the lawyer’s office, first thing you need to do is open your ears. When you sit down in the lobby, listen, listen to the receptionist. Is she or he using other clients’ names? Are you hearing details about other people’s cases? That’s a big red flag.
What about as you watch through the hall? Can you hear attorneys playing client voice mails over the speakerphone? Boy, that’s the last thing you want is your private voice mail to your attorney to be played out loud where people can hear it as they walk down the hall.
When you’re sitting with your attorney in the office, literally look around the space. Do you see clients’ names on files? Are there documents spilling out of folders with client information on it? Do you see sticky notes on the desk or around the computer screen with client names or information?
Does your lawyer leave you in the office alone with client information there or with client information on the computer screen? In fact, you ought to worry if you can even see that computer screen, and there’s the potential for other client information to be on it. Be very cognizant of that.
And then finally, ask questions. Find out if the employees are bound by a confidentiality agreement. Are they made aware of confidentiality policies? Do they sign confidentiality statements? Make sure that those basic precautions are being taken. Ask about document disposal. When the office is disposing of your old tax returns, are they putting them through a shredder? Do they use a shredding company, or are they just throwing things in the garbage?
These are the kinds of questions you want to ask. You want to make sure that your privacy is being protected. The last thing I want to do is make you more afraid or scared as you go through this process. You already have enough to worry about, but in this hacking culture we live in today where privacy is at such great risk you’ve got to be aware. You’ve got to be thinking about protecting yourself.
So you need to ask questions. You need to look around. You need to listen. Make sure that your privacy is protected. Nobody else is looking out for you. You’ve got to take care of you as you go through this process.