The lawyer's duty of confidentiality springs from the lawyer-client relationship and its parameters are determined by the nature of that relationship. The federal government lawyer's client is like no other. The uniqueness of representing the United States calls for a unique approach to the duty of confidentiality. Unlike the private individual client, the government as a client does not speak with a single, unmistakable voice. Unlike the private entity client, the federal government has a paramount interest in the public good, including the public's right to know about government (the entity's conduct), especially its misconduct. The result is a client in whose interest it is for confidentiality to be waived in instances of client misconduct, giving rise to the federal government lawyer's duty to breach confidentiality.

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2005

Publication Information

14 Temple Political and Civil Rights Law Review 633-648 (2005)