Tuesday, August 12, 2003

US: lawyers assoc. changes rules on tattling

This is interesting. On Monday, the American Bar Association's policy-making board, passed changes to the associations ethics rules that "... loosen restrictions on when lawyers can reveal suspected fraud by a client."
The new rules permit disclosure of confidential client information if it would head off fraud, shady accounting or other wrongdoing that the lawyer thinks would harm other people, including shareholders. Lawyers also could rat out a client without violating ethics in instances where a client had used or abused a lawyer's services to commit a crime in the past.

... In an interview, Fox said the new rules will not prevent another Enron.

"The lawyer-client confidence does so much more to protect the public than any exception will ever accomplish," Fox said. "Any time we have to read our clients Miranda warnings before they talk to us, the likelihood of them telling us the truth goes down."