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Sensitive information

Sensitive information contains both privileged information and client information that is not privileged. Privileged information applies to a client’s information protected by the privilege of lawyer-client under Rule 5.03 of the Texas Rules of Evidence or Rule 5.03 of the Texas Rules of Criminal Evidence or by the principles of privilege of attorney-client regulated by Rule 5.01 of the Federal Rules of Evidence for Courts and Magistrates of the United States. Unprivileged client information means any information, other than privileged information, obtained by the lawyer in the course of or on behalf of the client’s representation, relating to a client or given by the client.

What lawyer may not do

(1) Reveal a client’s or a former client’s confidential details to:

  • the person advised by the client not to receive the information; or I the person who has instructed the client not to receive the information;

  • any other person, other than the client, the representatives of the clients, or the law firm’s owners, associates, or staff.

(2) Use the customer’s confidential information to the detriment of the customer, unless the customer consents after consultation.

(3) To the detriment of the former client after the representation is completed, use the confidential information of the former client, unless the former client consents after consultation or the confidential information has become widely known.

(4) Use the client’s confidential information for the gain of an attorney or a third party, unless the client agrees after consultation.

Sensitive details can be disclosed by a lawyer

(1) Where the lawyer has been expressly allowed to do so for the purposes of the representation to be carried out.

(2) When, after consultation, the client consents.

(3) To the defendant, the representatives of the client, or the owners, partners, and staff of the firm of the lawyer, except as otherwise directed by the client.

(4) In order to comply with a court order, the Texas Disciplinary Code of Professional Conduct, or other statute, whether the lawyer has reason to believe it is appropriate to do so.

(5) To the degree reasonably possible, in a conflict between the lawyer and the client, to enforce a claim or create a defense on behalf of the lawyer.

(6) To create a defense against the lawyer or the lawyer’s associates for a criminal charge, civil claim or administrative complaint based on actions concerning the client or the client’s representation.

(7) In order to deter the client from committing a criminal or fraudulent act, when the lawyer has reason to believe it is appropriate to do so.

(8) To the degree that disclosure is sufficiently appropriate to correct the effects of the criminal or dishonest act of a client on the commission on which the services of the lawyer were used.

Unprivileged client data can also be disclosed by a prosecutor.

(1) If it is implicitly allowed to do so for the purpose of conducting the representation.

(2) If the solicitor has reason to think that it is appropriate to do so in order to:

  • to successfully implement the representation;

  • protect against an accusation of wrongful action by the lawyer or the lawyer’s staff or associates;

  • respond to allegations in any proceeding concerning the representation of the client by the lawyer;

  • assert, in an action against any person or entity responsible for the payment of the charge for services rendered to the client, the services rendered to the client, or the fair value thereof, or both.

Criminal or fraudulent act

If a lawyer has confidential information clearly suggesting that a client is about to commit a criminal or fraudulent act that is likely to result in a person’s death or serious bodily harm, the lawyer shall disclose confidential information to the degree that disclosure is fairly appropriate to prevent the client from committing a criminal or fraudulent act.

Also, when necessary to do so by Rule 3.03(a)(2), 3.03(b), or by Rule 4.011(b), the lawyer shall disclose confidential details (b).


  • Both the fiduciary relationship between lawyer and client and the proper operation of the legal system require the confidential details of one who has employed or sought to employ the lawyer to be maintained by the lawyer. In order for the lawyer to be fully informed and for the client to gain the full value of the legal system, free discussion between lawyer and client should prevail. The lawyer’s ethical duty to protect the client’s confidential details not only promotes the client’s adequate representation, but also allows prospective customers to pursue early legal assistance.

    Subject to the necessary disclosure provisions, the lawyer should, in general, be expected to protect the confidentiality of the information collected by the lawyer in the course of or on account of the client’s representation.

3. Not only in the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct, but also in the law of proof regarding the right of attorney-client and in the law of the department, the principle of confidentiality is given effect. The protection of the attorney-client, established over several decades, provides the client with the ability to prohibit the disclosure of such confidential correspondence by force of statute. In the evidence law of privilege, many sound exceptions to confidentiality have been created. There are exceptions in evidence law where a client requested or used the services of the lawyer in planning or committing a crime or fraud, as well as where disputes have arisen as to the abuse of the responsibility of the lawyer or the client to the other.

4. The rules of evidence law relating to attorney-client privilege are reinforced by Rule 1.05. Rule 1.05 also offers extensive security for other information beyond the reach of the privilege Rule 1.05 applies, in general, ethical protection to unprivileged information relating to the customer or given by the customer in the course or on the basis of the customer’s representation. In this respect, Rule 1.05 complies with the agency’s general fiduciary standards.

5. The confidentiality provision extends to government attorneys who may disagree with the policy priorities that their representation is meant to advance.


Disclosure for Client Benefit

6. A lawyer may be specifically allowed to make disclosures to carry out the representation and is widely accepted as having an implied-in-fact authority to make disclosures about a client, if necessary, to the degree that the orders of the client do not limit that authority when carrying out the representation. In litigation, for example, by accepting a fact that cannot be properly contested, or in negotiation by making a disclosure that facilitates a satisfactory conclusion, a lawyer may disclose details. The effect of Rule 1.05 is to compel the lawyer to invoke, where appropriate, the attorney-client privilege for the client; but if the court wrongly refuses the privilege, the lawyer can testify as directed by the court under paragraph (c)(4) or may test the ruling as allowed by Rule 3.04. (d).

7. In the course of the practice of a firm, lawyers may reveal information relating to a client to each other and to appropriate employees, unless the client has requested that specific information be limited to designated lawyers. Sub-paragraphs (b)(1) and (c)(3) continue these activities relating to the disclosure within the firm of confidential information.

Utilization of Knowledge

8. Sub-paragraphs (b)(2) and (4) subject a lawyer to punishment for the use of information relating to representation in a way that is disadvantageous to the client or favorable to the lawyer or to a third party, in the absence of the client’s informed consent, following sound principles of agency law. After the attorney-lawyer partnership has ended, the commitment not to abuse client data persists. Therefore, in the absence of the informed consent of the client, the lawyer is prevented by sub-paragraph (b)(3) from using the former client’s confidential information to the detriment of the client, unless the information is widely known.

Client-adverse discretionary transparency

9. A lawyer can anticipate that the client intends significant and perhaps irreparable harm by being privy to information about a client. To the degree that a lawyer is prevented from disclosure, the rights of the alleged victim are sacrificed in favor of protecting the knowledge of the client, generally unfavorable, even if the object of the client is wrongful. On the other hand, a client who knows or assumes that a lawyer is needed or allowed to reveal the wrongful purposes of a client may be prevented from disclosing information that would allow the lawyer to effectively advise against wrongful action. Therefore, Rule 1.05 requires balancing the needs of one group of possible victims against the interests of another group. Below is the discussion of the parameters given by the Law.

Uh. 10. The Texas Rules of Civil Evidence (Tex. R. Civ. Evid.), Rule 5.03(d)(1), Texas Rules of Criminal Evidence (Tex R. Crim. Evid.), and Rule 5.03(d)(1), Texas Rules of Criminal Evidence (Tex R. Crim. Evid.), suggest the overarching public policy of having little security for client information when the client tries or requires the lawyer’s services to help commit a crime or fraud. The dictates of Rule 1.05 control this public policy. Where the client is planning or engaged in illegal or fraudulent activity or where the culpability of the conduct of the lawyer is involved, there is no reason for complete security of client details.