2022 Georgia Code
Title 24 - Evidence
Chapter 5 - Privileges
§ 24-5-501. Certain Communications Privileged

Universal Citation: GA Code § 24-5-501 (2022)
  1. There are certain admissions and communications excluded from evidence on grounds of public policy, including, but not limited to, the following:
    1. Communications between husband and wife;
    2. Communications between attorney and client;
    3. Communications among grand jurors;
    4. Secrets of state;
    5. Communications between psychiatrist and patient;
    6. Communications between licensed psychologist and patient as provided in Code Section 43-39-16;
    7. Communications between a licensed clinical social worker, clinical nurse specialist in psychiatric/mental health, licensed marriage and family therapist, or licensed professional counselor and patient;
    8. Communications between or among any psychiatrist, psychologist, licensed clinical social worker, clinical nurse specialist in psychiatric/mental health, licensed marriage and family therapist, and licensed professional counselor who are rendering psychotherapy or have rendered psychotherapy to a patient, regarding that patient’s communications which are otherwise privileged by paragraph (5), (6), or (7) of this subsection; and
    9. Communications between accountant and client as provided by Code Section 43-3-29.
  2. As used in this Code section, the term:
    1. “Psychotherapy” means the employment of psychotherapeutic techniques.
    2. “Psychotherapeutic techniques” shall have the same meaning as provided in Code Section 43-10A-3.

History. Code 1981, § 24-5-501 , enacted by Ga. L. 2011, p. 99, § 2/HB 24; Ga. L. 2014, p. 136, § 2-1/HB 291.

The 2014 amendment, effective July 1, 2014, substituted “Code Section 43-3-29” for “Code Section 43-3-32” in paragraph (a)(9).

Cross references.

Duty of attorney to maintain confidence of clients, § 15-19-4 .

Protection of communications between victim assistance personnel and victims, § 17-17-9.1 .

Compelling of spouses to testify in proceedings relating to enforcement of duty of support, § 19-11-69 .

Privilege of testimony given before medical peer review organization, § 31-7-133.

Treatment of clinical records, §§ 37-3-166 , 37-4-125 .

Maintenance, confidentiality, and release of clinical records; disclosure of confidential or privileged patient information, § 37-7-166 .

Disciplining of official or employee of Department of Offender Rehabilitation for violating confidence of inmate supplying information regarding abuses and wrongdoing in the penal system, § 42-5-36 .

Confidentiality of communications between accountant and client, § 43-3-32 .

Confidentiality of communications between psychologist and client, § 43-39-16 .

Law reviews.

For comment, “The Government’s Privilege to Withhold the Identity of Informers, as Applied to Decoys,” see 20 Ga. B.J. 562 (1958).

For comment criticizing exclusion from attorney-client privilege of fact and terms of employment in In re Wasserman, 198 F. Supp. 564 (D.D.C. 1961), see 13 Mercer L. Rev. 434 (1962).

For note discussing confidential communication privileges in Georgia, see 2 Ga. St. B.J. 356 (1966).

For comment on Massey v. State, 226 Ga. 703 , 177 S.E.2d 79 (1970), cert. denied, 401 U.S. 964, 91 S. Ct. 984 , 28 L. Ed. 2 d 248 (1971), see 21 J. of Pub. L. 251 (1972).

For comment, “Privileged Communications Between Psychiatrist and Patient in Georgia — Termination of the Privilege Upon Death of the Patient,” see 9 Ga. St. B.J. 550 (1973).

For note discussing discovery proceedings available to creditors, see 12 Ga. L. Rev. 814 (1978).

For note, “Conflicts of Interest in the Liability Insurance Setting,” see 13 Ga. L. Rev. 973 (1979).

For note, “Wills and the Attorney-Client Privilege,” see 14 Ga. L. Rev. 325 (1980).

For article on the expansion of the attorney-client privilege in Georgia, see 17 Ga. St. B.J. 150 (1981).

For article, “Inadvertent Disclosure of Privileged Material,” see 18 Ga. St. B.J. 166 (1982).

For comment, “The Psychotherapist-Client Testimonial Privilege: Defining the Professional Involved,” see 34 Emory L.J. 777 (1985).

For annual survey of legal ethics, see 38 Mercer L. Rev. 269 (1986).

For article, “The Attorney-Client Privilege: The Common Law and Georgia’s Uncommon Statutes,” see 5 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 27 (1988).

For note on the Impact of the Zolin Decision on the Crime-Fraud Exception to the Attorney-Client Privilege, see 24 Ga. L. Rev. 1115 (1990).

For article, “The Defense Attorney’s Ethical Response to Ineffective Assistance of Counsel Claims,” see 5 Ga. St. B.J. 40 (1999).

For note, “Role of Jaffee v. Redmond’s ‘Course of Diagnosis or Treatment’ Condition in Preventing Abuse of the Psychotherapist-Patient Privilege,” see 35 Ga. L. Rev. 345 (2000).

For article, “The Marital Privileges in Georgia: What You Should Know,” see 6 Ga. St. B.J. 8 (2001).

For article, “The Absolute Privilege Between Patient and Psychiatrist in Civil Cases,” see 6 Ga. St. B.J. 14 (2001).

For article, “Lawyers as ‘Tattletales’: A Challenge to the Broad Application of the Attorney-Client Privilege and Rule 1.6, Confidentiality of Information,” see 20 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 617 (2004).

For note and comment, “Hope for the Best and Prepare for the Worst: The Capital Defender’s Guide to Reciprocal Discovery in the Sentencing Phase of Georgia Death Penalty Trials,” see 23 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 995 (2007).

For note, “Mandatory Child Abuse Reporting Laws in Georgia: Strengthening Protection for Georgia’s Children,” see 31 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 643 (2015).

For comment, “Mandatory Child Abuse Reporting Laws in Georgia: Strengthening Protection for Georgia’s Children,” see 31 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 643 (2015).

For annual survey of tort laws, see 67 Mercer L. Rev. 237 (2015).

For article, “Toward a Parent-Inclusive Attorney-Client Privilege,” see 53 Ga. L. Rev. 991 (2019).

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