February 2, 2012
Disclosing Information Without Client Consent Violates Duty Of Confidentiality
The Indiana Supreme Court has imposed a public reprimand of an attorney for misconduct in two bankruptcy matters.
The attorney referred the matters to other counsel without advising the clients. He did so because he did not have the software needed for the court filings.
In one matter, the attorney provided confidential financial information to the other counsel's support staff. The court found that a breach of the duty of confidentiality, rejecting the claim that the eventual filing of a public bankruptcy document diminished any problem.
Rather, the providing of the information without client consent violated the ethical duty:
...until the moment a bankruptcy is actually commenced, it is the client's decision whether to make confidential financial information public.
In mitigation, the attorney had practiced without discipline for 44 years. (Mike Frisch)
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