What Is the Crime-Fraud Exception to the Attorney-Client Privilege of Confidential Communication ?
In Revera v. State, 223 Ga. App. 450, 451-452 (1) (477 S.E.2d 849) (1996) the Court held that a statement from the defendant given to an investigator by defense counsel was a privileged and confidential communication.
Courts in other states have recognized that where a private investigator is employed by counsel to collect and assemble facts necessary for representation in pending or anticipated litigation, the protection of the attorney-client privilege extends to confidential communications between the client and investigator.
In the Matter of &c. Grand Jury Investigation, 179 Misc. 2d 623, 687 N.Y.S.2d 219 (County Ct. 1999);
New Jersey v. Davis, 116 N.J. 341, 360- 362 (2) (561 A.2d 1082, 1092) (1989);
Delap v. Florida, 440 So. 2d 1242, 1246 (Fla. 1983);
Illinois v. Knippenberg, 66 Ill. 2d 276, 279 (362 N.E.2d 681, 6 Ill. Dec. 46) (1977).
But the attorney-client privilege does not extend to communications which occur before perpetration of a fraud or commission of a crime and which relate thereto.
In re Hall County Grand Jury Proceedings, 175 Ga. App. 349, 352 (3) (333 S.E.2d 389) (1985).
This is referred to as the crime-fraud exception to the privilege.