Sunday, July 21, 2013
From the New York Law Journal (story by Joel Stashenko):
The hours of pro bono work and the financial contributions to groups providing legal services to the poor that lawyers must report on their biennial registration forms will be available to anyone who requests them.
"It is our responsibility to give it out," Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman said in a recent interview. "If someone asks for the information, they can have it."
But some attorneys are troubled by the lack of confidentiality in the new mandatory reporting system.
I certainly am not closely familiar with the New York ethical rules, however, there are circumstances where courts have held client identity is privileged. For example, when revealing the identity of a client under circumstances where the reveal would provide critical evidence to support indicting or convicting the client of a crime, the client's identity is often protected under the "last link" doctrine.