Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Change to Lawyer Client Privilege

A change has been made by the Texas Supreme Court to Rule 503. Lawyer-Client Privilege. The change removes former rule 503(b)(2)- the special rule of privilege in criminal cases. However, the change is not ment to restrict the scope of either the work-product privilege or the lawyer's professional duty not to reveal the confidential information of a client.

The new rule is as follows:

Rule 503. Lawyer-Client Privilege

(a) Definitions. (no change)
(b) General Rule of Privilege.
A client has a prvilege to refuse to disclose and to prvent any other person from disclosing confidential communications made for the purpose of facilitating the rendition of professional legal services to the client:
(1) between the client or a representative of the client and the client's lawyer or a representative of the lawyer;
(2) between the lawyer and the lawyer's representative;
(3) by the client or a representative of the client, or the client's lawyer or a representative of the lawyer, to a lawyer or a representative of a lawyer representing another party in a pending action and concerning a matter of common interest therein;
(4) between representatives of the client or between the client and a representative of the client; or
(5) among lawyers and their representatives representing the same client.
(c) Who May Claim the Privilege. (no change)
(d) Exceptions. (no change)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

TRE 103


(a) Effect of Erroneous Ruling. Error may not be predicated upon a ruling which admits or excludes evidence unless a substantial right of the party is affect, and

(1) Objection. In case the ruling is one admitting evidence, a timely objection or motion to strike appears of record, stating the specific ground of objection, if the specific ground was not apparent from the context. When the court hears objections to offered evidence out of the presence of the jury and rules that such evidence be admitted, such objections shall be deemed to apply to such evidence when it is admitted, before the jury without the necessary of repeating those objections.

(2) Offer of Proof. In case the ruling is one excluding evidence, the substance of the evidence was made known to the court by offer, or was apparent from the context within which questions were asked.

(b) Record of Offer and Ruling. The offering party shall, as soon as practicable, but before the court's charge is read to the jury, be allowed to make, in the absence of the jury, its offer of proof. The court may add any other or further statement which shows the character of the evidence, the form in which it was offered, the objection made, and the ruling thereon. The court may, or at the request of a party shall, direct the making of an offer in question and answer form.

(c) Hearing of Jury. In jury cases, proceedings shall be conducted, to the extend practicable, so as to prevent inadmissible evidence from being suggested to the jury by any means, such as making statements of offers of proof or asking questions in the hearing of the jury.