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Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility

Selected Works

R. Michael Cassidy

Evidence

Articles 1 - 1 of 1

Full-Text Articles in Law

Sharing Sacred Secrets: Is It (Past) Time For A Dangerous Person Exception To The Clergy-Penitent Privilege?, R. Michael Cassidy Dec 2002

Sharing Sacred Secrets: Is It (Past) Time For A Dangerous Person Exception To The Clergy-Penitent Privilege?, R. Michael Cassidy

R. Michael Cassidy

In this article, the author discusses the important and previously unexplored topic of whether the law should recognize a future harms exception to the clergy-penitent privilege, similar to that recognized in the area of psychotherapist-patient and attorney-client privileges. After tracing the origins and current application of the clergy-penitent privilege in America, the author discusses how the privilege as currently applied in most states admits of no exceptions, and is unnecessarily expansive in breadth. Using the hypothetical of a homicidal spouse who reveals to his minister an intent to murder his wife, the article compares the ethical and legal duties of …