Tuesday, July 24, 2007

An Ethical Dilemma

An attorney in Florida has requested an ethics opinion in circumstances where a divorce client has removed documents from the spouse's office without permission, improperly (by figuring out the password) accessed and printed email and documents, including attorney-client information, and removed documents from the spouse's car. The proposed opinion surveys cases and ethics opinions from other jurisdictions and concludes that the attorney must "discuss the situation, including the ethical dilemma presented by the client's actions, with the client [and] must inform the client that the materials cannot be retained, reviewed or used without informing the opposing party...If the client refuses to consent to disclosure, the inquiring attorney must withdraw from the representation." The Florida Bar is accepting comments on the proposed opinion through August 31. (Mike Frisch)

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