Decision Blocking DOL 'Persuader' Rule Cites Irreconcilable Clash With Ethical Duties
A federal judge in Texas decided that the Department of Labor's "new persuader" rule cannot coexist with attorneys' ethical obligations due to irreparable harm to attorney-client relationships. The "new persuader rule" would force lawyers to violate their obligation of confidentiality and loyalty to their clients. The judge's decision is under fire by the American Bar Association and some professors, who wrote a letter to Congress opposing the new rule, stating the new rule would "conflict with lawyers' existing state rules of professional conduct regarding client confidentiality and will seriously undermine both the confidential lawyer-client relationship and the employers' fundamental right to effective counsel."
Lawyer ethics attorney Trisha Rich expressed her disagreement with the ABA's stance adding, "it makes perfect sense that lawyers and jurists would strongly object to the continued erosion of the protections that Model Rule 1.6 provides, because holding and protecting confidential information is at the core of our ethical duties as attorneys."