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Non-disclosure of legal consultation, C3S32 CPRA

Section 32, Canon III

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)

1. Non-disclosure of legal consultation

a. Duty of non-disclosure of legal consultation

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.

1) Exception

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.

References

Canon III, 2023 Code of Professional Responsibility

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