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A man called our firm for a prospective client. The prospect…

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A man called our firm...
A man called our firm for a prospective client. The prospect cannot talk but he can see, hear, read and comprehend. The man isn't the power of attorney. We only want to deal with the client, but he opens and reads all letters that we send to the client. How can we communicate with the client and what should we do?
Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Real Estate Law
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Answered in 3 minutes by:
11/21/2017
Real Estate Lawyer: legalgems, Arbitrator replied 7 months ago
legalgems
legalgems, Arbitrator
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 13,339
Experience: Just Answer consultant at Self employed
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Hello! I will be reviewing your question and posting a response momentarily; if you have any follow up questions please respond here. Thanks!

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Real Estate Lawyer: legalgems, Arbitrator replied 7 months ago

What type of business is this?

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Real Estate Lawyer: legalgems, Arbitrator replied 7 months ago

I will post a response and if you need further clarification please don't hesitate to reach out to me.

If the prospective client has sufficient mental capacity, a company can contract/communicate with him directly.

The prospective client can authorize the firm to communicate with third parties though it is best to have such communications limited to a guardian/POA because those positions have fiduciary duties.

Alternatively the firm can ask the client to sign a waiver (if there is no secure third place to mail any correspondence) stating that should a third party open mail sent to the client's attention at the client's address, that the firm is not liable as the firm has the client's permission to send correspondence to that address.

If there is a legal relationship (attorney client confidentiality) then that privilege may be waived if there is a third party present so that is always a concern.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
We are a law firm. We are legal aid and want to assist the client. The man who brought the client to us is not a client.
Real Estate Lawyer: legalgems, Arbitrator replied 7 months ago

Thank you;

generally the third party's presence will result in a waiver of the attorney client relationship unless the attendance is necessary for the lawyer to assist the client (ie POA, guardian, accountant, etc).

So any communications would be limited to the presence of the client, and any communication addressed to the client. It is possible to send it certified, return receipt requested, restricted delivery, so only the client can sign for it.

But if the third party opens mail addressed to the client since that is out of the client's control that should not impact the legal office. Though the court may deem that by permitting this, the client is waiving the privilege.

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Real Estate Lawyer: legalgems, Arbitrator replied 7 months ago

I can't find a case discussing this issue other than:

https://www.tnwd.uscourts.gov/JudgeVescovo/opinions/113.pdf

"Further, in light of the fact that the e-mail circulated among Fleet personnel, it is impossible to discern whether the Fleet e-mail authors expected the communication to remain confidential. Accordingly, Fleet’s motion for a protective order governing Document Nos. 5, 6, 7, and 8 is denied."

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Real Estate Lawyer: legalgems, Arbitrator replied 6 months ago

Hello again; just checking in to see how things worked out;

If you have no further questions a positive rating is most appreciated (at no additional cost to you) and allows the site to credit my account for the time spent assisting you!

if you have further questions please don't hesitate to reach out to me here on Just Answerand I will do my best to get you the requested information.
Thanks!

The above information is for educational purposes only. A consultation with a private attorney is recommended so they can apply the law to your specific facts, and suggest the best course of action. An attorney can be located here:
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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

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