It may be next to impossible for an attorney to provide a client with adequate representation if he or she does not have all of the information a client has regarding a case. A client’s initial hesitancy to being so forthcoming is understandable; after all, cooperating in this way may require releasing personal information. This is why professional conduct policies require that attorneys protect the information provided to them by clients to the strictest of standards. Any failure to do so may be viewed as both professional negligence and a personal betrayal.
One need only look at the recent case of a Connecticut attorney in order to understand how seriously the legal profession takes breaches of attorney-client privilege. The attorney had been sued by a former client for malpractice for alleged failings in his representation of her in a property case in 2011. The pair has worked together several times prior to the 2011 lawsuit, during which time the attorney gained access to the client’s medical records, which apparently detailed a history of struggles with psychiatric issues. In responding to the woman’s malpractice lawsuit, the attorney referenced these issues specifically. A state Superior Court judge recently rules that this action was retaliatory and constituted a serious violation of ethics. As a result, the attorney (who has since the mid-1950s) had his law license suspended for two years.
Suing an attorney might at first seem to be a daunting task, yet in cases where egregious violations of conduct (such as the one detailed here) occur, one might be left with little choice. Those who feel compelled to take this action may find that they are not alone; having an attorney who specializes in professional malpractice on their side might prove to be a great benefit.