Taking Attorney-Client Communications (and therefore Clients) Seriously
University of San Francisco Law Review (U.S.F.L.), Vol. 42, p. 747, 2008
53 Pages Posted: 31 Jul 2008 Last revised: 22 Mar 2012
Date Written: July 27, 2008
This Article argues that the communications regime orchestrated by the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct is intentionally designed to create a one-way street, systematically channeling information in the attorney-client relationship in lawyers' direction while often leaving clients in the dark. Furthermore, the asymmetric distribution of information in the attorney-client relationship is not in clients' best interests but rather grounded in lawyers' self-interest and in a paternalistic approach that fails to take communications, and therefore clients, seriously. Finally, taking communications, and thus clients, seriously requires adopting a new communications regime that would mandate disclosure of all material information to clients. The Article proposes a materiality-based communications regime and explores its application in several contexts.
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