A Joint Defense Agreement From A to Z
A privilege is of great importance in the U.S. legal justice system. It protects confidential information and documents exchanged between an attorney and a client during criminal proceedings. When the protected information is revealed to the third party, confidentiality is breached, and the privilege is waived.
A joint defense agreement can help by allowing the disclosure of confidential information without breaching the attorney-client privilege.
DoNotPay will explain what constitutes a joint defense agreement and when and how to use this legal document!
What Is a Joint Defense Privilege?
Parties with a common interest in a civil or criminal case but with different attorneys sometimes decide to collaborate. That collaboration requires the disclosure of specific confidential information protected by the attorney-client privilege. In such cases, the involved parties rely on a joint defense agreement. It is an extension of the attorney-client privilege designed to protect the communication between the collaborating parties and keep the shared information confidential.
Joint defense privilege is a sensitive matter, and its abuse can lead to serious legal repercussions. To avoid them, you must take specific safety measures, including:
- Establishing the agreement before sharing the privileged information—The document doesn’t have to be in writing, but both parties have to agree that they are entering into it
- Writing the agreement—It is more convenient to document that the parties are entering into a joint defense agreement and that they expect the information to remain confidential
- Keeping the attorneys involved—The exchange of information should happen between attorneys and not directly between clients
Both parties should consider the unity of their legal interest carefully before entering into a joint defense agreement.
What Are the Disadvantages of a Joint Defense Agreement?
Joint defense agreements pose a great risk for lawyers and lead to disqualification and conflict of interest. Attorneys have to make sure they are entering an agreement with trusted parties. If one of the parties doesn’t perform an adequate conflict check, all the participating lawyers are at risk of disqualification.
Unexpected conflicts can happen if attorneys change law firms. The client-lawyer privilege extends even after the attorney stops representing the client. If the new company does business with the opposing party of the lawyer’s former client, it can be considered a breach of privilege. To avoid the legal conundrum, the involved parties must define all aspects in a comprehensive joint defense agreement.
What Should a Joint Defense Agreement Include?
A carefully drafted joint defense agreement protects both attorneys and clients from potential risks. You have to use specific language when creating a joint defense agreement. The contract should indicate that:
- Parties entering into the agreement have a common interest and will share the confidential material to establish a common defense strategy
- Attorneys have completed a thorough conflict check and don’t have any existing conflict of interest
- The right to disqualify members of a joint defense group for their access to the joint defense material is waved
- Waiver of the joint defense privilege has to be a result of all joint defense members’ consent
- An attorney-client relationship is disclaimed and won’t arise by implication
- Confidential communication and materials will only be revealed to the parties in the agreement
- Parties are forbidden from using the shared information outside of the agreement
- Filing a cross-claim will be postponed until the proceedings reach the final deposition
- Parties have to provide written notice before withdrawing from the agreement and follow a specific procedure for returning shared materials
- Communication about entering a joint defense agreement is also subject to the joint defense privilege
- Joint defense privilege extends beyond the conclusion of the trial
- Parties that reach a settlement will notify other participants in the joint defense agreement
DoNotPay Can Generate Different Legal Documents for You
While a joint defense agreement requires attorney involvement, many legal documents don't. There are other solutions besides writing a contract yourself or downloading a contract template. DoNotPay can generate various business, real estate, and many other contracts according to your specific circumstances.
and choose any of the documents from the table:
Using DoNotPay to draft documents comes with other advantages! We can help you schedule an appointment with a notary and even fax the document to the recipient, if necessary!
How Can I Create a Document With DoNotPay?
The process of creating a contract with DoNotPay is straightforward and goes like this:
- in a web browser
- Find the document you want to create
- Answer our chatbot’s questions about your legal document
- Download or print out your contract
The information you provide will help us personalize the contract to meet your requirements and state-specific laws.
DoNotPay Leads the Way Against Spammers
Browsing the internet has never been more popular than today, but you must not forget to keep your private and financial information safe. You know you can cancel any streaming service or magazine subscription easily, but that won't stop them from using your personal details for marketing purposes.
DoNotPay has a solution for that!
Is a company pestering you with incessant robocalls, spam emails and text messages? Use our Virtual Credit Card to catch them in the act and claim compensation for your troubles.
To prevent that from happening ever again, use our card to sign up for free trials—not only will you not pay a dime for the service, but you will be automatically unsubscribed as soon as the trials are up!
If you want to avoid revealing your personal phone number, we'll generate a temporary burner phone for you so the company won't have any way to reach you.
Already Been Scammed? DoNotPay Knows the Way!
If you've already made the mistake and divulged your personal info to the wrong party or experienced any other kind of crime or injustice, you don't have to sit tight and suffer the consequences. DoNotPay can assist you in taking anyone to small claims court!
We'll help you gather evidence—correspondence proving stalking or harassment took place, customer service call recordings, denied chargeback and refund claims, online fax transcripts, or proof of copyright violation. Then, we'll fill out the relevant legal documents for you and draft a court script that you can use in your hearing.