Brief Fact Summary. An attorney named as a defendant in a securities law violation case wants to be able to use attorney-client privileged information to demonstrate his nonparticipation in the wrongful acts alleged by Plaintiffs.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. An attorney’s right to reveal previously privileged information to insulate himself from liability for alleged wrongdoing.
DR4-101 (C)(4) provides in pertinent part: (C) A lawyer may reveal: (4) Confidences or secrets necessary to defend himself or his employees or associates against an accusation of wrongful conduct.View Full Point of Law
Issue. Was Goldberg justified in making this information public once he learned that he had been included as a co-defendant?
Held. Yes. An attorneys may circumvent the attorney-client privilege if the previously privileged information would protect them from allegations of wrongdoing.
Discussion. This is the only exception to the attorney-client privilege in which the attorney is allowed to waive the privilege. The privilege is otherwise solely at the client’s discretion.