Standard law disclaimer: I’m not looking for any type of legal advice, I am just looking for general legal information.
Now, on to the qusetion:
My knowledge of the law is limited, and comes almost soley from watching Law and Order reruns. As good of a source as that is ( ), I have a question related to the types of privleges/confidentialities that a party can have with another party. From what I can tell, there are a few of these, and they are:
Now, first question: am I missing any, or are any of those not actual privleges/confidentialities?
Second question: of all the ones that do exist, under what circumstances (if any) are they allowed to be breached? I have seen several episodes where the detectives ask for a patient’s info from a doctor, he says that he dosen’t have to give it up, but they then say he might as well tell them now or else they’ll just get a warrent. So, according to L&O, that type of privlege can be broken with something as simple as a warrent forcing the doctor to talk, or the doctor/patient can talk of their own free will.
I also saw an episode where a preist volunteered info from a confession, because the law could not order him to do so. So in that case it seemed that a priest can volunteer information from a confession, but cannot be forced to tell it. There was an episode that had a lawyer who had doubts about her client where something similar happened, they couldn’t force her to divulge the wherebouts of him (he skipped out on bail,) but she did voluntarily give up his location.
So far we almost have a trend. It seems that anyone can voluntarily give up their right to confidentiality, but only some circumstances can have it forced. However…
One episode had a wife testifying against her husband. The trial was a mistrial, though, because the wife keep going on and on about the things her husbad said to her in private, which constitued spousal privlege. So even though they had a subpeona for her to testify against her husband, she still couldn’t voluntarily give up info about things they said to each other. So in the case of spousal privlege apparanty you can never use what what spouse says to the other on court?
So can someone please fill me in on what Law and Order has right and what they have wrong? Thanks in advance.