Thursday, December 8, 2011

Warning Your Clinic Students about Client Confidentiality

Suppose one of your clinic or externship students turns to writing creative fiction and writes a story somewhat based on the case of a real client. You may be concerned that readers of the story will lose trust in your program’s willingness to keep client information confidential.

 In a recent federal case, a former summer clerk later wrote two published stories based on her real-life experience, despite having signed an agreement promising client confidentiality. The clinic, the Louisiana Capital Assistance Clinic, sought an injunction, and the former student attempted to invoke Louisiana’s anti-SLAPP suit statute. The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana rejected the argument of the former student and permitted the case to go forward.

 Yet one more subject to discuss with your students. Here is a link to the story from US Law Week online.


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