Legal Ethics

No Client-Fraud Confidentiality Exception in Proposed NY Rules

Ethics guru Stephen Gillers says new lawyer conduct rules recommended for adoption in New York state are a “resounding” improvement.

The New York State Bar Association’s House of Delegates is recommending approval of the ethics revisions, which now go to the state appellate division for consideration, the New York Law Journal reports.

The chair of the committee that drafted the new rules, Steven Krane, said about two-thirds of the proposed rules are based on the ABA’s model rules and about one-third are from the current New York conduct code.

Gillers, of New York University Law School, told the legal publication the changes would make the conduct code more specific, especially with regard to the obligations of transactional lawyers and other nonlitigators.

However, Gillers is disappointed that the proposal does not include ABA model rules that allow lawyers to reveal client confidences if they discover clients have used their services to defraud others.

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