Difference between revisions of "Ethics and Professional Responsibility"

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A defense lawyer may not assist any unlawful or illegal conduct and cannot counsel illegal conduct.  This means the defense lawyer may not further a continuing fraud or other additional future criminal activity.  If, for example, the defense attorney becomes aware that the defendant intends to commit perjury, he cannot continue his representation of the defendant.  Representation of a defendant concerning past events is not viewed as assisting the defendant in committing or perpetuating a fraud.
 
A defense lawyer may not assist any unlawful or illegal conduct and cannot counsel illegal conduct.  This means the defense lawyer may not further a continuing fraud or other additional future criminal activity.  If, for example, the defense attorney becomes aware that the defendant intends to commit perjury, he cannot continue his representation of the defendant.  Representation of a defendant concerning past events is not viewed as assisting the defendant in committing or perpetuating a fraud.
  
 
 
===The Attorney/Client Privilege===
 
===The Attorney/Client Privilege===
  
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* The crime-fraud exception is one of the oldest exceptions to the attorney/client privilege.  The attorney/client privilege is ultimately designed to serve the interests of justice by insulating attorney/client communications made in furtherance of adversarial proceedings.  The attorney/client privilege does not extend to communications made in connection with a defendant seeking advice on how to commit a criminal or fraudulent act; or a defendant's statement of intent to commit a crime.  In nearly all jurisdictions defense lawyers can be compelled to disclose such information to a court or other investigating authorities.
 
* The crime-fraud exception is one of the oldest exceptions to the attorney/client privilege.  The attorney/client privilege is ultimately designed to serve the interests of justice by insulating attorney/client communications made in furtherance of adversarial proceedings.  The attorney/client privilege does not extend to communications made in connection with a defendant seeking advice on how to commit a criminal or fraudulent act; or a defendant's statement of intent to commit a crime.  In nearly all jurisdictions defense lawyers can be compelled to disclose such information to a court or other investigating authorities.
 
* A party seeking discovery of privileged communications based upon the crime-fraud exception must make a threshold showing that the legal advice was obtained in furtherance of the fraudulent activity and was closely related to it.  The party seeking disclosure does not satisfy this burden merely by alleging that a crime or fraud has occurred and then asserting that disclosure of privileged communications might help prove the crime or fraud.  There must be a specific showing that a particular document or communication was made in furtherance of the client's alleged crime or fraud.   
 
* A party seeking discovery of privileged communications based upon the crime-fraud exception must make a threshold showing that the legal advice was obtained in furtherance of the fraudulent activity and was closely related to it.  The party seeking disclosure does not satisfy this burden merely by alleging that a crime or fraud has occurred and then asserting that disclosure of privileged communications might help prove the crime or fraud.  There must be a specific showing that a particular document or communication was made in furtherance of the client's alleged crime or fraud.   
 
  
 
===Developing the Attorney/Client Relationship===
 
===Developing the Attorney/Client Relationship===

Revision as of 08:49, 8 April 2010