Loyalty in Limbo: The Peculiar Case of Attorneys’ Loyalty to Clients

59 Pages Posted: 22 Apr 2009 Last revised: 14 Oct 2009

Eli Wald

University of Denver Sturm College of Law

Date Written: April 22, 2009

Abstract

Loyalty to clients, a cornerstone of the attorney-client relationship, is in limbo. The Bar advocates a client-centered broad interpretation of loyalty, critics call for a narrow approach tempered by duties to non-clients, and consequently disagreement regarding the meaning and scope of loyalty abounds. This Article studies the competing definitions of attorney loyalty to clients and explores their respective justifications. It advocates a middle-ground understanding of loyalty grounded in serving clients and constrained not by duties to third-parties or abstract open-ended obligations, but rather by specific rules derived from the roles of lawyers as officers of the legal system and public citizens.

Suggested Citation

Wald, Eli, Loyalty in Limbo: The Peculiar Case of Attorneys’ Loyalty to Clients (April 22, 2009). St. Mary's Law Journal, Vol. 40, p. 909, 2009; U Denver Legal Studies Research Paper No. 09-06. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1393388

Eli Wald (Contact Author)

University of Denver Sturm College of Law ( email )

2255 E. Evans Avenue
Denver, CO 80208
United States

HOME PAGE: http://law.du.edu/index.php/profile/eli-wald

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