Why Lawyers and Whistleblowers Don't Mix -- Part 1

Westlaw Journal White-Collar Crime
10.01.14
In this article, Members Timothy O'Toole and John Eustice and Senior Associate Jonathan Kossak address the risks present when lawyers become whistleblowers. In the first of a two-part series, the authors address whether the Model Rules of Professional Conduct permit a general counsel to blow the whistle on his or her employer or client and whether it is ever prudent to do so. "The short answers are that the ethics rules permit disclosure only in extraordinarily rare situations. Even when those situations arise, it is almost always imprudent to do so," the authors write. Highlighting the two ethics rules that serve as guideposts for a whistleblowing attorney: the rule on "organization as client" and the rule on "confidentiality of information," the authors outline the potential pitfalls when lawyers become whistleblowers.
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Why Lawyers and Whistleblowers Don't Mix -- Part 1