Category: Legal Malpractice Posted on Oct 21, 2016

Client to Lawyer: "HOW DARE YOU TALK TO OTHERS ABOUT ME"

The fact that information is somehow on the public record absolutely does not give a lawyer the right to further disclose that information. Lawyers are forbidden by rule 1.6 of the Connecticut Rules of Professional Conduct from even simply pointing to that public record unless the client gives permission or under other specific circumstances which all have to do with the client.

Here is an easy example: Who would want his lawyer talking about or posting online that the client was accused of a crime, accused of causing an auto accident, was injured in an assault, is divorced or in anyway caught up in the legal system? Details on all of these can be found online, but it is unethical and a violation of the rules for a lawyer to talk about them with a friend or at a party, and of course lawyers should not be posting any of this on line.

What made me think of this was a news article about a local CT lawyer who is running for office. The lawyer was engaged in a Facebook conversation with his client’s (from their divorce) ex husband. The lawyer of the wife (the wife is not in anyway part of the conversation) is having a discussion with the ex-husband of his client on Facebook. The lawyer may have wanted to show that the ex husband has a bias, so he posts a link to the court record about the divorce. The record is public, but now it is on Facebook. Is it a big deal that the record is now on Facebook as part of an unpleasant conversation that others may be reading? According to the news story the client thought so. Expect your lawyer to not even talk about you with his spouse or best friend, that is the rule.

The lawyer will find himself subject to a grievance or a claim for damages if the client learns about it and is so inclined.

Bruce Stanger

My litigation experience includes family law, divorce, product liability, construction law, professional negligence, shareholder disputes, medical malpractice, legal malpractice, and general commercial litigation.