X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

Clients frequently disclose unfavorable or potentially damaging information to their lawyers. Most often, these disclosures are made with the assumption that anything revealed to an attorney must remain privileged, and that it is the lawyer’s job to manipulate or conceal certain information in order to achieve a positive result for the client. This is extremely common in the matrimonial context where clients often seek to hide information from their spouses or from the court, such as unreported income, hidden assets, or even an affair. Unlike the client, attorneys are held to a higher standard and are bound by strict ethical rules designed to prevent this kind of gamesmanship. Notwithstanding an attorney’s duty to advocate for his or her client, and the existence of the attorney-client privilege, practitioners must remember not to compromise their own integrity by pushing the bounds of the Rules of Professional Conduct for a client.

From the moment a potential client walks in the door, an attorney’s ethical obligations are triggered. Therefore, it is important to use caution in communicating with clients and to lay ground rules as soon as possible in order to avoid any potentially tricky issues stemming from an inadvertent disclosure. For example, at the initial client meeting, the attorney may want to limit the questions he or she asks or the information he or she requests to avoid creating an ethical minefield from the outset. Attorneys should also immediately advise their clients about their own ethical duties and important restrictions on the practice of law.

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

 
Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.

Library of New Jersey Family Law FormsBook

Find a wide variety of forms from initial summons through ADR, trial and relief, as well as non-litigation sample documents. Over 175 Model Documents are included in this...

Get More Information
 
 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.