Are dates redacted on a document, solicitor-client privileged? Please support your answer with legal authority.

If the answer differs by Canadian province or territory, I'm asking for Ontario.

  • 3
    It will depend on the context. The date might or might not be significant to the client's rights. – George White Dec 26 '20 at 22:31

@GeorgeWhite has stated in the comments, and I agree, that the question is context specific. The privilege protects confidential communications between solicitor and client regarding matters related to the legal representation.

What is necessary to protect that, and what kinds of dates are even being discussed, are context specific.

Often the issue comes up when applying for compensation of fees incurred where an itemized time sheet redacted to omit privileged information in the entry descriptions is used to support a fee award. In that case, generally, the dates that conversations took place would not usually be privileged, just the content of the communications. But it isn't impossible to imagine a circumstance in which revealing the exact date of a conversation would disclose privileged information and would be properly redacted (e.g. where the timing of the communication goes to the intent of the client on the merits of some dispute).

I will try to locate authority in support of that position if I can, but it flows quite directly form general principles and it is likely that there is no specific case law determination precisely on point, because the issue, when it arises is usually interlocutory and can be raised in a reported appellate decision only in exceptional cases.

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