Loyalty in Limbo: The Peculiar Case of Attorneys’ Loyalty to Clients
University of Denver Sturm College of Law
April 22, 2009
St. Mary's Law Journal, Vol. 40, p. 909, 2009
U Denver Legal Studies Research Paper No. 09-06
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.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 59
Date posted: April 22, 2009 ; Last revised: October 14, 2009