Exalting Lawyer Self-Protection Over Client Confidentiality and Loyalty: D.C. Bar Ethics Committee O

In providing legal representation, a lawyer’s fiduciary duties of loyalty and confidentiality are of the upmost importance. Unfortunately, while the D.C. Bar Ethics Committee undoubtedly cares about these commitments, the Committee’s recent Opinion 364 transforms what should be a narrow self-defense exception to a lawyer’s duty of confidentiality into an un-cabined standard that threatens to undermine the loyalty and confidentiality owed by defense counsel to former clients.