250 words in text citations and references
The attorney–client privilege refers to the inability of authorities to compel an attorney (through subpoena or threat of contempt) to disclose confidential information regarding his or her client. There are only a few situations where a lawyer can ethically reveal confidences of a client (consent, required by law, to defend self or employees, to prevent death or bodily harm, to prevent substantial injury due to fraud, and to prevent or mitigate financial loss due to lawyer’s involvement). This rule has been enlarged to include more crimes. Proponents argued that such a rule would have prevented Enron lawyers from participating in the scheme to defraud stockholders by hiding the true level of debt. The rule of confidentiality, however, does not apply to physical evidence.
For this discussion, assume you are a defense attorney and that your first big case is a multiple murder. As the defense attorney, you have come to the realization that your client really did break into a couple’s home and torture and kill them in the course of robbing them of jewelry and other valuables. He has even confessed to you that he did it. However, you are also aware that the police did not read him his Miranda warning and that he was coerced into giving a confession without your presence.
Thoughtfully consider your responses from a legal and moral perspective, and address the following in your main post:
- Explain the relevant facts and ruling of the court in a case on point with this ethical dilemma.
- Articulate what you would do if faced with this ethical dilemma.
- Differentiate the action you would take under situational versus systems model of ethics.
- Explore whether your answer would be different if you believed your client was innocent or did not know for sure either way