Rule 503. Lawyer-client privilege
(1) As used in this section, unless the context requires otherwise:
(a) “Client” means:
(A) A person, public officer, corporation, association or other organization or entity, either public or private, who is rendered professional legal services by a lawyer, or who consults a lawyer with a view to obtaining professional legal services from the lawyer.
(B) A person, public officer, corporation, association or other organization or entity, either public or private, who consults a lawyer referral service with a view to obtaining professional legal services from a lawyer.
(b) “Confidential communication” means a communication not intended to be disclosed to third persons other than those to whom disclosure is in furtherance of the rendition of professional legal services to the client or those reasonably necessary for the transmission of the communication.
(c) “Lawyer” means a person authorized, or reasonably believed by the client to be authorized, to practice law in any state or nation.
(d) “Lawyer referral service” means an entity that, as a regular part of its business, refers potential clients to lawyers, including but not limited to a public nonprofit entity sponsored or operated by the Oregon State Bar.
(e) “Representative of the client” means:
(A) A principal, an officer or a director of the client; or
(B) A person who has authority to obtain professional legal services, or to act on legal advice rendered, on behalf of the client, or a person who, for the purpose of effectuating legal representation for the client, makes or receives a confidential communication while acting in the person’s scope of employment for the client.
(f) “Representative of the lawyer” means one employed to assist the lawyer in the rendition of professional legal services, but does not include a physician making a physical or mental examination under ORCP 44.
(2) A client has a privilege to refuse to disclose and to prevent any other person from disclosing confidential communications made for the purpose of facilitating the rendition of professional legal services to the client:
(a) Between the client or the client’s representative and the client’s lawyer or a representative of the lawyer;
(b) Between the client’s lawyer and the lawyer’s representative or the client’s lawyer referral service;
(c) By the client or the client’s lawyer to a lawyer representing another in a matter of common interest;
(d) Between representatives of the client or between the client and a representative of the client;
(e) Between lawyers representing the client; or
(f) Between the client or a representative of the client and a lawyer referral service.
(3) The privilege created by this section may be claimed by the client, a guardian or conservator of the client, the personal representative of a deceased client, or the successor, trustee, or similar representative of a corporation, association, or other organization, whether or not in existence. The person who was the lawyer or lawyer referral service or the lawyer’s representative at the time of the communication is presumed to have authority to claim the privilege but only on behalf of the client.
(4) There is no privilege under this section:
(a) If the services of the lawyer or lawyer referral service were sought or obtained to enable or aid anyone to commit or plan to commit what the client knew or reasonably should have known to be a crime or fraud;
(b) As to a communication relevant to an issue between parties who claim through the same deceased client, regardless of whether the claims are by testate or intestate succession or by inter vivos transaction;
(c) As to a communication relevant to an issue of breach of duty by the lawyer or lawyer referral service to the client or by the client to the lawyer or lawyer referral service;
(d) As to a communication relevant to an issue concerning an attested document to which the lawyer or lawyer referral service is an attesting witness; or
(e) As to a communication relevant to a matter of common interest between two or more clients if the communication was made by any of them to a lawyer retained or consulted in common, when offered in an action between any of the clients.
(5) Notwithstanding ORS 40.280 (Rule 511. Waiver of privilege by voluntary disclosure), a privilege is maintained under this section for a communication made to the office of public defense services established under ORS 151.216 (Duties) for the purpose of seeking preauthorization for or payment of nonroutine fees or expenses under ORS 135.055 (Compensation and expenses of appointed counsel).
(6) Notwithstanding subsection (4)(c) of this section and ORS 40.280 (Rule 511. Waiver of privilege by voluntary disclosure), a privilege is maintained under this section for a communication that is made to the office of public defense services established under ORS 151.216 (Duties) for the purpose of making, or providing information regarding, a complaint against a lawyer providing public defense services.
(7) Notwithstanding ORS 40.280 (Rule 511. Waiver of privilege by voluntary disclosure), a privilege is maintained under this section for a communication ordered to be disclosed under ORS 192.311 (Definitions for ORS 192.311 to 192.478) to 192.478 (Exemption for Judicial Department). [1981 c.892 §32; 1987 c.680 §1; 2005 c.356 §1; 2005 c.358 §1; 2007 c.513 §3; 2009 c.516 §1; 2018 c.2 §1]
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent. Currency Information