Downie v. State

In Downie v. State, 888 P.2d 1306 (Alaska App. 1995) the Court held that the attorney-client privilege did not protect an attorney's act of communicating a court date to the client. The Court noted that the authorities are in agreement that "When the attorney is merely acting as a conduit for information, i.e., as a messenger, the privilege is inapplicable." As Downie also makes clear, however, a lawyer's duty of confidentiality under Professional Rule 1.6(a) is broader than the attorney- client privilege and generally precludes an attorney from voluntarily disclosing any "secrets" that could be embarrassing or detrimental to his or her client, even if that information does not otherwise qualify as "confidential communications" under the attorney-client privilege. Id. at 1309.