We had the pleasure of lecturing with our friend Andy Perlman last weekend in West Virginia at a "Bridging the Digital Divide" conference. Andy is a legal ethics professor at Suffolk University School of Law who formerly served as the Chief Reporter for the American Bar Association’s Commission on Ethics 20/20. Amid many spirited discussions, we talked about the decision in Hunter v. Virginia State Bar. He noted that the view of most legal ethicists is that, without client consent or another applicable exception, Rule 1.6 prohibits lawyers from disclosing embarrassing information, even if the information can be found in the public records of a completed court proceeding.
Personally, I agree with that. A lot of information which comes out in court will normally remain obscure - I don't think attorneys are at liberty to shine a light on client information (think alcohol or drug dependency, mental illness, impotence, etc.) just because it came out in court. Thanks Andy for pointing us to your blog post on this issue. Illuminating.