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RayAnswers
RayAnswers, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 36996
Experience:  I have 30 years as a business lawyer in Texas
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Can an attorney tell someone a free consultation is

Customer Question

Can an attorney tell someone a free consultation is confidential under any circumstances even if they aren't hired ... but if one then chooses not to retain that attorney can the attorney break the confidentiality they had agreed to? (It says online that there is no attorney-client privilege until money changes hands).
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Business Law
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I do not think this is a business law question but that's the closest category that would fit here.
Expert:  RayAnswers replied 2 months ago.

Hi and welcome to JA. Ray here to help you today.Please bear with me a few moments while I review your question and respond.

Expert:  RayAnswers replied 2 months ago.

The lawyer should maintain such confidentiality even if it was a free consultation as you are a potential client.Lawyer could be sanctioned here for such failure by the state and sued by you.

Client-Lawyer Relationship
Rule 1.6 Confidentiality Of Information

(a) A lawyer shall not reveal information relating to the representation of a client unless the client gives informed consent, the disclosure is impliedly authorized in order to carry out the representation or the disclosure is permitted by paragraph (b).

(b) A lawyer may reveal information relating to the representation of a client to the extent the lawyer reasonably believes necessary:

(1) to prevent reasonably certain death or substantial bodily harm;

(2) to prevent the client from committing a crime or fraud that is reasonably certain to result in substantial injury to the financial interests or property of another and in furtherance of which the client has used or is using the lawyer's services;

(3) to prevent, mitigate or rectify substantial injury to the financial interests or property of another that is reasonably certain to result or has resulted from the client's commission of a crime or fraud in furtherance of which the client has used the lawyer's services;

(4) to secure legal advice about the lawyer's compliance with these Rules;

(5) to establish a claim or defense on behalf of the lawyer in a controversy between the lawyer and the client, to establish a defense to a criminal charge or civil claim against the lawyer based upon conduct in which the client was involved, or to respond to allegations in any proceeding concerning the lawyer's representation of the client;

(6) to comply with other law or a court order; or

(7) to detect and resolve conflicts of interest arising from the lawyer’s change of employment or from changes in the composition or ownership of a firm, but only if the revealed information would not compromise the attorney-client privilege or otherwise prejudice the client.

(c) A lawyer shall make reasonable efforts to prevent the inadvertent or unauthorized disclosure of, or unauthorized access to, information relating to the representation of a client.

The professional rules are clear he is to maintain your confidentiality in such situations.

I appreciate the chance to help you today.;Thanks again.

Expert:  RayAnswers replied 2 months ago.

In case you need to file a complaint about this..

http://www.nycbar.org/pdf/brochures/Complaints_Lawyers_Judges/complain.pdf

Thanks again please let me know if you have more follow up.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
What does it mean in sections 2 and 3 "in furtherance of which the client has used the lawyer's services?"
Expert:  RayAnswers replied 2 months ago.

If you are telling the lawyer that you are going to commit another crime he has to report it to law enforcement--and it has to be something like murder here--"substantial injury" for the lawyer to have to report.Very limited circumstances.

Expert:  RayAnswers replied 2 months ago.

If you can positive rate when we are done it is always much appreciated.

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