SECTION 32. Non-disclosure of legal consultation. – A lawyer shall not reveal that he or she has been consulted about a particular case except to avoid possible conflict of interest. (2023 Code of Professional Responsibility and Accountability or CPRA)
Under this section, lawyers are prohibited from revealing that they have been “consulted about a particular case.” This is the duty on non-disclosure of legal consultation.
The duty applies the lawyers who have been consulted, whether it was for a paid consultation or a free consultation. It also extends even if no engagement results from such consultation or that the client eventually engages another lawyer.
The prohibition is subject to the exception: to avoid possible conflict of interest.
In certain cases, it may be necessary for lawyers to reveal that they have been consulted on a particular case to avoid possible conflict of interest. For example, if a court intends to appoint a lawyer as a counsel de officio and there is a possible conflict of interest, the lawyer is permitted to reveal the previous consultation. The same applies to pro bono legal services and/or Limited Legal Services.