privileged communication

A communication between persons in such a confidential relationship, be it attorney and client, physician and patient, or confessor and penitent, that public policy prohibits the disclosure thereof by the person to whom it was made, as a witness testifying in an action or proceeding, upon objection thereto by the person who made it. 58 Am J1st Witn §§ 363 et seq. Communications between husband and wife, declared privileged in encouragement of the utmost confidence between the spouses, thus aiding in the preservation of the marital status, so that neither spouse is competent to testify to a confidential communication, made to him or her by the other spouse, in a civil action, whether or not the husband or wife is a party, or in a criminal prosecution against one of the spouses, apart from actions or prosecutions excepted by statute or which are such that the exclusion of the testimony would not be in fulfillment of the principle of the privilege. 58 Am J1st Witn §§ 375 et seq. Within the meaning of the law of defamation:–a statement uttered or published which, by reason of its character or the occasion upon which it was made, is to be deemed, absolutely or conditionally, wanting in respect of the essential element of the tort or offense of libel or slander, 33 Am J1st L&S § 124; a communication which would be defamatory and actionable, except for the occasion on which, or the circumstances under which it was made. Mullens v Davidson, 133 W Va 557, 57 SE2d 1, 13 ALR2d 887. As to the effect of an act as a confidential communication between husband and wife, see Anne: 10 ALR2d 1389.

Ballentine's law dictionary. . 1998.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • conditionally privileged communication — One made in good faith on any subject matter in which the person publishing has an interest, or in reference to which he has a duty, if made to a person having a corresponding interest or duty, even though it contains matter which otherwise would …   Black's law dictionary

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