Thursday, October 25, 2012

Ethics Opinion On Confidentiality And In-House Counsel Claims Against Employer

A recently-issued opinion of the District of Columbia Bar Legal Ethics Committee concludes:

An in–house lawyer may not disclose or use her employer/client’s confidences or secrets in support of the lawyer’s claim against the employer/client for employment discrimination or retaliatory discharge unless expressly authorized by Rule 1.6. If the employer/client puts the lawyer’s conduct in issue, however (e.g., by lodging an affirmative defense or a counterclaim), the lawyer may disclose or use the employer’s confidences or secrets insofar as reasonably
necessary to respond to the employer/client’s contention. An in–house lawyer is not prohibited from bringing such a claim against her employer/client merely because the employer/client may find it necessary or helpful to disclose its confidences or secrets in defending against the lawyer’s claim.

(Mike Frisch)

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legal_profession/2012/10/a-recently-issued-opinion-of-the-district-of-columbia-bar-legal-ethics-committee-concludes.html

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