Can my divorce lawyer reveal infomation without my permision? 19 Answers as of July 11, 2013I am divorced and I am seeing a guy who has been separated from his wife for 2 years. My lawyer is also representing his soon to be ex. At the last appointment I had with my lawyer over some issues with my own case, I was asked if I was dating this person. I was honest and said yes, thinking it would stay confidential. This lawyer is now trying to use this information in their case. Can the lawyer use this without my permission?
ROWE LAW FIRM | Jeffrey S. Wittenbrink
Your lawyer is not allowed to disclose any information you give him unless a) you are asked under oath about the information and lie or tell him you intend to lie or b) are in the process of committing or about to commit a crime or fraud upon another person. Your lawyer should have not undertaken to represent both you and your boyfriend's spouse at the same time, and he may have an ethical problem if he does not immediately withdraw. If he insists upon using your information in another forum you should report his behavior to the state bar association.
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
This calls for an ethical opinion, you may want to discuss this issue with your lawyer and ask if he thinks he is conflicted? If so, he has a choice to make. If not, then advise him your communications are privileged and you do not waive privilege.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
In general, no. Anything that you tell your lawyer in confidence is supposed to stay confidential. Like all rules, of course, there are exceptions. However, you have said nothing in your question that would make me think that one of those exceptions applies to your situation. Therefore, he or she should not be disclosing any confidential information without your permission. It actually sounds like the attorney now has a conflict of interest.
Answer Applies to: Washington
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
Basically, NO. A lawyer is ethically bound to preserve client confidentiality so it sounds like your lawyer is, at best, on the verge of an ethical violation. Because there could be a serious question as to whether or not what you told him was, in fact, confidential you probably should first discuss the situation with your lawyer to be sure you both have the same understanding about what was said and why. However, if you believe he has violated his obligation you should certainly find another attorney and you may wish to file a grievance with the Office of Regulatory Counsel at the Colorado Supreme Court.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Fox Law Firm LLC | Tina Fox
You can bring this up to the judge as a conflict of interest or that may be a reason why the attorney brought it to the attention of the court. I don't have enough information in your statement to know why it was presented (your current relationship) but there seems to be a conflict of some sorts.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
No, that would be a violation of attorney client privilege. If the attorney uses something that you told him in confidence, that would be an offense that could subject the attorney to sanctions by the Florida Bar. You may want to discuss this with the attorney prior to reporting him or her to the Florida Bar.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Fredric H. Aaron, Attorney at Law, P.C. | Fredric Harlan Aaron
In discussions between attorneys and clients there is an expectation of privacy. This is the basis of the attorney/client privilege. In asking about your relationship, your attorney may have inadvertently placed himself in the middle of a conflict of interest. You should contact this lawyer and make it clear that you spoke to him in the expectation that this was a privileged conversation. If he tries to use or divulge the information you gave him to further the case against your boyfriend, he may be breaching this privilege. You need to make clear to your lawyer that you intend to exert your privilege with respect to the conversations you have had with him.
Answer Applies to: New York
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
Your lawyer is ethically required to keep your communications with your lawyer confidential. Address that, and your concern,to your lawyer, without delay. If your lawyer violates your trust, he shouldn't be your lawyer.
Answer Applies to: California
Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
This is a tough question. It would seem like a conflict of interest and breach of confidentiality. On the other hand, infidelity is something that lawyers explore on a standard basis in divorce cases and they would probably get the information anyway by asking your boyfriend in the discovery process whether he had any affairs. So the answer may lie in what type of information the lawyer is trying to use and where he got it. You might want to consult with a lawyer who deals in ethics or malpractice or even contact the State Bar to ask some questions or get further information.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Willick Law Group | Marshal S. Willick
From your description, your lawyer has stumbled into a classic conflict of interest situation. Short version, no he should not be using it, and may now be disqualified from one, the other, or both cases. You should get a second opinion in a consultation with qualified counsel, sometime soon.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
If the lawyer used information from your case in another case without permission, you have a highly unethical lawyer. You need to do several things: (1) Fire the lawyer and get an ethical one. (2) Make a written complaint with the state bar of Georgia. The lawyer could be disbarred, suspended or disciplined. (3) Have your new lawyer see if a motion can be filed in the other case to exclude the information you gave.
Answer Applies to: Georgia