Lobb & Plewe Attorneys At Law

Nevada asset protection: Nevada protects the attorney-client privilege

Nevada once again displays why it is one of the top asset protection jurisdictions. In a recent case, the Nevada Supreme Court soundly protected communications between an attorney and client. Specifically, the Court has addressed and firmly protected communications between trustees and attorneys.

The protection of communications between lawyers and clients has been unquestionably sacred for a very long time. The first evidentiary privilege recognized by the English common law was the attorney-client privilege. This happened in 1577. The privilege was first recognized in the United States in 1776 and remains robust in every state in the United States to this day. However, some states, such as Nevada, are more protective of the privilege than others.

In Canarelli v. Eighth Judicial District Court, 464 P.3d 114 (Nev. 2020), the court analyzed two aspects of the privilege. The court first held the attorney-client privilege can protect clients' notes even if the client did not physically deliver those notes to the lawyer as long as the notes reflect what the client and the lawyer discussed. The court noted, "we emphasize that the party asserting the privilege does not have to prove that the client spoke each and every word written in his or her notes to counsel verbatim." Id. at 120-21.

Next, the Canarelli court held the lower court had "clearly abused its discretion to the extent it found that the factual information contained in the [withheld] documents was not subject to the attorney-client privilege." Id. at 121. Even though the court acknowledged "documents contain factual information," it held that "facts communicated in order to obtain legal advice do not fall outside the privilege's protections." Id.

Nevada provides many tools to protect individuals from creditors. The continued protections afforded by such rulings as the Canarelli court make Nevada the strongest asset protection jurisdiction. The Passage Trust incorporates the bundle of protections afforded by Nevada and maximizes the effectiveness of those protections in the planning and implementation of the trust. No matter what state our clients call home, utilizing the Nevada laws to protect communications between client and counsel cannot be ignored.

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