I noticed that a lot of American discussions about law include a disclaimer (I am not your lawyer). A recent article mentioned that this is the case because otherwise there may be an attorney-client privilege.

This (EDIT: automatic pairing) does not exist in France (you will not find any disclaimers in discussions and a lawyer is your lawyer when you hire him or her) so I was wondering about the geographical extent of this privilege.

Specifically, could it be in place when:

  • two Americans citizens discuss over a non-US portal?
  • the discussion is on an American site, between a US citizen and non US one?
  • two Americans citizens discuss outside the US?
  • I expect that the privilege is jurisdictional rather than geographic. In other words, I suspect that a US lawyer giving advice on US law is subject to US law, and that a French lawyer giving advice on French law is subject to French law, regardless of the location of the lawyer or the recipient of the advice, and regardless of the path taken by their communications. – phoog Mar 4 '17 at 15:52
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    Often the disclaimer is because the adviser is not qualified as a lawyer in that particular jurisdiction, and does not wish to be sued for 'practising law without a licence'. Does that affect your question? – Tim Lymington Mar 4 '17 at 16:37
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    I am pretty sure that there is an attorney-client privilege in France. The disclaimers probably reflect a civil law v. common law divide. In civil law countries there are fewer warnings and shorter contracts because what common law countries do with these things are covered by default rules of law there. – ohwilleke Mar 4 '17 at 16:50
  • This article (scholarship.law.duke.edu/cgi/…) addresses the odd "I am not your lawyer" online meme. It does not look like there is any flagrant case law reason to worship the meme, but over-abundance of caution mandates maximal disclaimage. Since US law is more a matter of guesswork rather than reading of statutes, that probably explains the appearance of a geographic difference. – user6726 Mar 5 '17 at 6:01
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    There is a "Restatement" of law governing lawyers, §26 that if "a person manifests to a lawyer the person’s intent that the lawyer provide legal services for the person; and either (a) the lawyer manifests to the person consent to do so; or (b) the lawyer fails to manifest lack of consent to do so, and the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that the person reasonably relies on the lawyer to provide the services", then an attorney-client relation exists. So saying NO I AM NOT overcomes trap. – user6726 Mar 5 '17 at 6:05

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