In continuing our series about lawyers’ “sins” that can lead to claims, this article focuses on pride. Attorneys are sometimes viewed by the public as bombastic or willing to say anything to win a case. Attorneys also are known to regale fellow members of the bar with their “war stories” about the biggest case they won, the most difficult client they ever had or the best exchange they ever had with a judge.
Regardless of whether such stereotypes are true, the fact remains that attorneys may feel a tension between their obligations to maintain confidentiality and civility with their desire to boast or promote their practice. Indeed, in order to win new clients, attorneys sometimes have to describe their experience to show that they are well-qualified. However, by bragging about their exploits, attorneys run the risk of either improperly disclosing client confidences or of misrepresenting facts or analyses to potential new clients, as discussed below.
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