Ethics hypothetical

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romothesavior
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Re: Ethics hypothetical

Postby romothesavior » Thu Jun 10, 2010 7:57 pm

burvowski wrote:How about this: (I didn't come up with it, obviously, another lawyer suggested it to me)

Model Rule of Professional Conduct 1.6 - Confidentiality of Information
(b) A lawyer may reveal information relating to the representation of a client to the extent the lawyer reasonably believes necessary:
(1) to prevent reasonably certain death or substantial bodily harm;


In the link PK posted, they mentioned that they wanted to amend Rule 1.6 to cover situations like the one mentioned in the article. As I understand it, rule 1.6 would cover a situation like the one presented in the OP (death), but it looks like the lawyers in the Wickliffe murder did not think 1.6 allowed them to disclose the information Mr. Hope presented them with. But this could be a faulty interpretation, since I don't know what all is contained in 1.6 (b) and I'm just a 0L noob.
Last edited by romothesavior on Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Tautology
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Re: Ethics hypothetical

Postby Tautology » Thu Jun 10, 2010 7:59 pm

Leeroy Jenkins wrote:he's dyslexic, you inconsiderate jackass


Not quite sure how that makes me inconsiderate . . .

Anyway, I hadn't noticed his posts having that many mistakes in the past, so it seemed unusual.

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Matthies
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Re: Ethics hypothetical

Postby Matthies » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:02 pm

Tautology wrote:
Leeroy Jenkins wrote:he's dyslexic, you inconsiderate jackass


Not quite sure how that makes me inconsiderate . . .

Anyway, I hadn't noticed his posts having that many mistakes in the past, so it seemed unusual.


Depends on if I can use text-to-speach or not how fucked up my posts are. If I'm working and have a doc open in MS Word and doing text-to-speech i can't copy.patse from MS Word to spell check it or open a new doc. So I gtta type in the box in my natural tounge.

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romothesavior
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Re: Ethics hypothetical

Postby romothesavior » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:04 pm

Upon further reading...

It looks like some states have already made changes to the confidentiality rules (Massachusetts was mentioned). The MA change states: "a lawyer may reveal... such information... to prevent the wrongful incarceration or conviction of another." The article is from 2008, so it is unclear as to whether or not other states have followed suit. So OP, looks like you've got the answer to your question.

Now I wonder: If the lawyer reveals this information, can the state then charge the person who admitted to the crime?

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PKSebben
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Re: Ethics hypothetical

Postby PKSebben » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:06 pm

.

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PKSebben
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Re: Ethics hypothetical

Postby PKSebben » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:07 pm

.

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romothesavior
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Re: Ethics hypothetical

Postby romothesavior » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:09 pm

PKSebben wrote:
romothesavior wrote:Upon further reading...

It looks like some states have already made changes to the confidentiality rules (Massachusetts was mentioned). The MA change states: "a lawyer may reveal... such information... to prevent the wrongful incarceration or conviction of another." The article is from 2008, so it is unclear as to whether or not other states have followed suit. So OP, looks like you've got the answer to your question.

Now I wonder: If the lawyer reveals this information, can the state then charge the person who admitted to the crime?


Depends on whether the evidence would be admissible at trial.


Well the lawyer who revealed that information wouldn't be asked to come to trial, would he? I mean, I'm all for him exonerating the guy in prison, but I feel like no court would want to set a precedent where a lawyer is asked to come into court and testify against his client for something told to him in a confidential manner. But yeah... perhaps the state would have enough to build a case on its own.

I'm just offering quasi-intelligible 0L speculation. Feel free to add your thoughts.

lawyerliar
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Re: Ethics hypothetical

Postby lawyerliar » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:10 pm

anyone who considers the law when an innocent person's life is in the balance and nobody would even be harmed by it is morally bankrupt. and i bet all those who are strongly against disclosing the info are liberals-the 'humanitarians'

Tautology
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Re: Ethics hypothetical

Postby Tautology » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:15 pm

Matthies wrote:
Tautology wrote:
Leeroy Jenkins wrote:he's dyslexic, you inconsiderate jackass


Not quite sure how that makes me inconsiderate . . .

Anyway, I hadn't noticed his posts having that many mistakes in the past, so it seemed unusual.


Depends on if I can use text-to-speach or not how fucked up my posts are. If I'm working and have a doc open in MS Word and doing text-to-speech i can't copy.patse from MS Word to spell check it or open a new doc. So I gtta type in the box in my natural tounge.


That would probably be why I hadn't noticed it before. Is the text-to-speech thing something that comes with MS Word or an extra piece of software?

Miniver
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Re: Ethics hypothetical

Postby Miniver » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:19 pm

...
Last edited by Miniver on Wed Jul 07, 2010 4:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Tautology
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Re: Ethics hypothetical

Postby Tautology » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:21 pm

Miniver wrote:
NOTE: About 14 posts were made between the time I started this post and finished it. Sorry if I'm repeating things that others already addressed.


Don't worry about it, they were mostly responses to my tactlessness.

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Matthies
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Re: Ethics hypothetical

Postby Matthies » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:21 pm

lawyerliar wrote:anyone who considers the law when an innocent person's life is in the balance and nobody would even be harmed by it is morally bankrupt. and i bet all those who are strongly against disclosing the info are liberals-the 'humanitarians'


"Freedom's untidy, and free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things." –Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on looting in Iraq after the U.S. invasion, adding "stuff happens," April 11, 2003

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Re: Ethics hypothetical

Postby burvowski » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:22 pm

lawyerliar wrote:anyone who considers the law when an innocent person's life is in the balance and nobody would even be harmed by it is morally bankrupt. and i bet all those who are strongly against disclosing the info are liberals-the 'humanitarians'


Image

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Matthies
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Re: Ethics hypothetical

Postby Matthies » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:23 pm

Tautology wrote:
Matthies wrote:
Tautology wrote:
Leeroy Jenkins wrote:he's dyslexic, you inconsiderate jackass


Not quite sure how that makes me inconsiderate . . .

Anyway, I hadn't noticed his posts having that many mistakes in the past, so it seemed unusual.


Depends on if I can use text-to-speach or not how fucked up my posts are. If I'm working and have a doc open in MS Word and doing text-to-speech i can't copy.patse from MS Word to spell check it or open a new doc. So I gtta type in the box in my natural tounge.


That would probably be why I hadn't noticed it before. Is the text-to-speech thing something that comes with MS Word or an extra piece of software?


I use Dragon naturally Speaking Legal Edition cuase itknows how to spell more of the legal words thatn the base edition

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Matthies
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Re: Ethics hypothetical

Postby Matthies » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:23 pm

burvowski wrote:
lawyerliar wrote:anyone who considers the law when an innocent person's life is in the balance and nobody would even be harmed by it is morally bankrupt. and i bet all those who are strongly against disclosing the info are liberals-the 'humanitarians'


Image


ROFLMA

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romothesavior
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Re: Ethics hypothetical

Postby romothesavior » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:23 pm

PKSebben wrote:The question is not attorney / client privilege, but rather duty of confidentiality. Noob 0Ls.


What is the difference? The authors seem to use the terms interchangeably and call this situation one of "attorney/client privilege." Then again, the author was from WUSTTTL. :D

So is there a difference in the terminology?

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romothesavior
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Re: Ethics hypothetical

Postby romothesavior » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:24 pm

Matthies wrote:
burvowski wrote:
lawyerliar wrote:anyone who considers the law when an innocent person's life is in the balance and nobody would even be harmed by it is morally bankrupt. and i bet all those who are strongly against disclosing the info are liberals-the 'humanitarians'


Image


ROFLMA


180. Epic meme.

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PKSebben
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Re: Ethics hypothetical

Postby PKSebben » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:25 pm

.

burvowski
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Re: Ethics hypothetical

Postby burvowski » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:36 pm

For those curious, this is the trial in which this hypothetical came up

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leo_Frank

The wikipedia article doesn't go into much depth on the issue we were discussing, but basically, what happened was, after Frank was sentenced to death, Conley, the janitor/witness, approached an attorney by the name of Arthur Powell (I believe), and admitted his guilt. Powell wrestled with himself with what to do and eventually decided to approach the governor of the state. No one knows what he said specifically (he had records sealed until his death but they were never found) but it went something like "Look, from one Christian to another, I'm telling you Frank is innocent. I can't reveal why, but I know he is." (again, heavily paraphrasing, all based on hearsay).

The governor commuted Frank's sentence to life in prison. Upon hearing of this, many of the town's residents (with help from the guards themselves) formed a mob and took Frank from where he was being held and lynched him. The rope was cut into small pieces and sold to participants. No one in the mob was ever brought to trial because the courts ruled there wasn't enough evidence to prove anyone was there (despite photos being taken of the lynching). Unsurprisingly, many of the town's rich residents had participated in the lynching.

In the 1980s, another person that witnessed the murder came forward and admitted that Frank was innocent and he had been afraid of speaking out earlier for fear of being killed (this new witness died one year later). Frank was given a posthumous pardon, 60 or so years later.

Interestingly enough, this case led to the revival of the KKK and the creation of the Anti-Defamation League
Last edited by burvowski on Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

lawyerliar
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Re: Ethics hypothetical

Postby lawyerliar » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:40 pm

Matthies wrote:
lawyerliar wrote:anyone who considers the law when an innocent person's life is in the balance and nobody would even be harmed by it is morally bankrupt. and i bet all those who are strongly against disclosing the info are liberals-the 'humanitarians'


"Freedom's untidy, and free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things." –Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on looting in Iraq after the U.S. invasion, adding "stuff happens," April 11, 2003


not arguing with that

Tautology
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Re: Ethics hypothetical

Postby Tautology » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:47 pm

lawyerliar wrote:
Matthies wrote:
lawyerliar wrote:anyone who considers the law when an innocent person's life is in the balance and nobody would even be harmed by it is morally bankrupt. and i bet all those who are strongly against disclosing the info are liberals-the 'humanitarians'


"Freedom's untidy, and free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things." –Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on looting in Iraq after the U.S. invasion, adding "stuff happens," April 11, 2003


not arguing with that


"Well, um, you know, something's neither good nor bad but thinking makes it so, I suppose, as Shakespeare said." - Rumsfeld

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macattaq
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Re: Ethics hypothetical

Postby macattaq » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:54 pm

lawyerliar wrote:
Matthies wrote:
lawyerliar wrote:anyone who considers the law when an innocent person's life is in the balance and nobody would even be harmed by it is morally bankrupt. and i bet all those who are strongly against disclosing the info are liberals-the 'humanitarians'


"Freedom's untidy, and free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things." –Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on looting in Iraq after the U.S. invasion, adding "stuff happens," April 11, 2003


not arguing with that


I'll bite. You have to consider your actions not just as to this one person, but as to the legal system as whole. We act as agents, who rely on confidential information in order to help bend the gray areas of an issue in our favor, or at least against the opposition. In order for this to work, clients have to feel comfortable disclosing information to us. But if potential clients/clients have a reason to think that their attorney is going to turn them in, or otherwise not provide effective counsel as a result of being candid and forthright, they are less likely to seek counsel. If this happens, trust in the justice and legal systems will be severely undermined, if not destroyed. All it would take is one situation where a lawyer does the 'right thing' as to their client, and then a story about it comes out, and people will make exactly the assumption I am talking about. While it might get that one person out of jail, it would have far worse implications for the efficacy of the profession. However, that information is most likely going to be excluded from evidence to begin with. So now, you've just burned your colleagues for no reason. Good job morally upright guy, way to go.

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bk1
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Re: Ethics hypothetical

Postby bk1 » Thu Jun 10, 2010 9:04 pm

macattaq wrote:I'll bite. You have to consider your actions not just as to this one person, but as to the legal system as whole. We act as agents, who rely on confidential information in order to help bend the gray areas of an issue in our favor, or at least against the opposition. In order for this to work, clients have to feel comfortable disclosing information to us. But if potential clients/clients have a reason to think that their attorney is going to turn them in, or otherwise not provide effective counsel as a result of being candid and forthright, they are less likely to seek counsel. If this happens, trust in the justice and legal systems will be severely undermined, if not destroyed. All it would take is one situation where a lawyer does the 'right thing' as to their client, and then a story about it comes out, and people will make exactly the assumption I am talking about. While it might get that one person out of jail, it would have far worse implications for the efficacy of the profession. However, that information is most likely going to be excluded from evidence to begin with. So now, you've just burned your colleagues for no reason. Good job morally upright guy, way to go.


I think your 'tar is slowly draining away my sanity.

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romothesavior
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Re: Ethics hypothetical

Postby romothesavior » Thu Jun 10, 2010 9:07 pm

Miniver wrote: Very solid (albeit long) analysis


That's how I understand it too. And like I said, it sounds like in some jurisdictions, the exemption for "bodily harm and death" has been expanded to include wrongful incarcerations.

And thanks for the clarification PK. It seems like the authors do not make that distinction, but I could be misunderstanding what they're saying.

Good thread OP... The first real intellectual or philosophical stimulation I've had all summer.

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Lawquacious
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Re: Ethics hypothetical

Postby Lawquacious » Thu Jun 10, 2010 9:10 pm

I'm glad to see that there are changes being made to the accepted standard of confidentiality insofar as any current or previous standard doesn't allow for disclosure of essential criminal case information that would prove the innocence of someone facing substantial criminal penalties. I think think that what the attorneys in the ABA article (linked earlier in thread) did by sealing the confession of the real killer for 20 years while an innocent man rotted in jail was unethical- even though they were likely following the letter of the law in the principle of non-disclosure until after death (though perhaps the standard usually accepted is that this privilege extends indefinitely beyond death). I do think that the standard of confidentiality should be strict and unbreakable EXCEPT where countervailing results are egregious and severely damaging to another individual's life or livelihood. What is ethical about protecting one person (who is guilty) at the direct expense of another (who is innocent, but who is allowed to take the fall thanks to an extreme interpretation of the value confidentiality)? In other professions (read: especially in terms of clergy privilege) it is becoming recognized that there is the need for exceptions to be made to confidentiality when another person is being harmed by the lack of further disclosure.




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