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Duty to report dishonest, deceitful, or misleading conduct, C2S12 CPRA

Section 12, Canon II

SECTION 12. Duty to report dishonest, deceitful, or misleading conduct. – A lawyer shall immediately inform a court, tribunal, or other government agency of any dishonest, deceitful or misleading conduct related to a matter being handled by said lawyer before such court, tribunal, or other government agency.
A lawyer shall also report to the appropriate authority any transaction or unlawful activity that is required to be reported under relevant laws, including the submission of covered and suspicious transactions under regulatory laws, such as those concerning anti­ money laundering. When disclosing or reporting the foregoing information to the appropriate court, tribunal, or other government agency, the lawyer shall not be deemed to have violated the lawyer’s duty of confidentiality.
Any such information shall be treated with strict confidentiality.
A baseless report shall be subject to civil, criminal, or administrative action. (2023 Code of Professional Responsibility and Accountability or CPRA)

1. Duty to report dishonest, deceitful, or misleading conduct

a. Immediately inform a court, tribunal, or other agency of any dishonest, deceitful or misleading conduct

Lawyers are required to immediately notify a court, tribunal, or other government agency of any dishonest, deceitful or misleading conduct related to a matter being handled by said lawyer before such court, tribunal, or other government agency.

Such conduct may be from any person involved or connected to the matter, including the lawyer’s own clients, opposing counsel, opposing party, and the court/tribunal/agency staff.

b. Report to appropriate authority any transaction or unlawful activity that is required to be reported

Lawyers are also duty-bound to report to the appropriate authority any transaction or unlawful activity that is required to be reported under relevant laws, including the submission of covered and suspicious transactions under regulatory laws, such as those concerning anti-money laundering.

1) No violation of lawyer’s duty of confidentiality

Under this section in the CPRA, it is made clear and categorical that such reporting will not be in violation of the lawyer’s duty of confidentiality. Accordingly, lawyers can rely on this section in avoiding administrative liability that may involve lawyer-client privilege.

2) Strict confidentiality

Further, strict confidentiality will be observed in relation to the report made by the lawyers.

c. Baselesss reports subject to civil, criminal, and administrative action

However, lawyers who make baseless reports shall be subject to civil, criminal, or administrative action. Hence, those seeking harbor in this section should ensure that their reports are duly substantiated.

References

Canon II, 2023 Code of Professional Responsibility

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