The Ethics of Confidentiality



  • Available Until 5/16/2021
  • Next Class Time 11:00 AM MT
  • Duration 60 min.
  • Format MP3 Download
  • Program Code 0118362

Course Price: $65.00


Untitled Document

The duty to keep client confidences is a central duty of every lawyer. But it is not unbounded and no absolute. Not all information that passes between a client and his or her lawyer is confidential. Even if information is confidential, it may sometimes be disclosed – against client wishes. Other confidential information may be inadvertently disclosed, often through law office technology or by accident in discovery. Other confidential information may lose certain protections if disclosed by a party. Closely related but distinct from all of this is how the attorney-client privilege relates to client confidentiality. This program will provide you with a practical guide to the ethics of confidentiality, its relationship to the attorney-client privilege, and best practices to avoid ethical sanction.

  • Scope of the duty of confidentiality – what information is/is not confidential?
  • When confidential information may be disclosed, even against client wishes?
  • How violation of either the attorney-privilege or confidentiality impacts the other
  • Inadvertent and unauthorized disclosure of client confidences – ethics issues and malpractice issues
  • Duty of competence as duty to understand how technology effects client confidences
  • Confidentiality in joint representations – managing information flows to avoid ethical sanction


Sue C. Friedberg is a partner in the Pittsburg office of Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney, PC. She is associate general counsel of the firm and responsible for guiding its attorneys in meeting the standards of ethical law practice. She supervises the firm's conflicts of interest review process and new business intake functions, and provides counsel for the firm as a business entity. Earlier in her career, she focused on corporate finance, securities law, and general business transactions. Ms. Friedberg earned her B.S., magna cum laude, from Georgetown University and her J.D., cum laude, from the University of Pittsburg School of law.

William Freivogel is the principal of Freivogel Ethics Consulting and is an independent consultant to law firms on ethics and risk management. He was a trial lawyer for 22 years and has practiced in the areas of legal ethics and lawyer malpractice for more than 25 years. He is chair of the Editorial Board of the ABA/BNA Lawyers’ Manual on Professional Conduct. He maintains the Web site “Freivogel on Conflicts” at Mr. Freivogel is a graduate of the University of Illinois (Champaign), where he received his B.S. and LL.B.