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One of the most important aspects of the attorney-client relationship is the mutual exchange of information. It is important for the attorney to keep the client fully informed about their rights and obligations in retaining the attorney's services and progress and developments in the client's case. For an attorney to represent his or her client effectively, the attorney must be fully informed of all information relating to the client's case. This includes information that may help the case as well as information that may hurt it. The only way the attorney can obtain this information is if the client speaks freely without fear that what is said will later be told to others.
This is why the attorney-client privilege was created. It provides that a client has a privilege to refuse to disclose a confidential communication between the client and his or her lawyer. Also, the attorney is prevented from disclosing such communications without the consent of the client.
A lawyer has an obligation not to intentionally fail to carry out a contract of employment for professional services. This obligation is tempered, however, by the right (and, in some instances, the requirement) of the lawyer to withdraw.
Assuming there is a basis for withdrawal, if permission for withdrawal is required by court rules, the lawyer must obtain permission of the court. Furthermore, the lawyer must first take steps to the extent reasonably practicable to avoid foreseeable prejudice to the client, including giving the client notice and time to employ other counsel and delivering papers and property.