Can you keep a secret? If you can’t, you probably shouldn’t be a practicing attorney. Lawyers are, among other things, professional secret keepers. We, as lawyers, are bound to keep client confidences, communications and a myriad of other secrets. We have an ethical obligation not to vouchsafe any information that, very broadly speaking, relates to a client representation.
This duty of confidentiality raises the following question: To what extent must we also keep inviolate other lawyer-type information gleaned in the course of representation, that may appear sacrosanct, such as judges’ and courts’ reputations? All practitioners, as officers of the court and as members of a self-governing legal bar, must maintain certain core traditions and standards of ethics both in and outside our practice. We have an obligation to serve our clients and also to serve the profession. To that end, we guard both their individual and collective reputations fiercely. This involves, again, a great deal of discretion and, for lack of a better phrase, secret keeping.
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