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Wash. & Lee L. Rev.


This article explores the disjuncture of positive law and the duty of confidentiality as formulated by Model Rule 1.6. Its central purpose is to question the decision to exclude positive law from the framework of analysis created by the Rule.

Part II summarizes the duty of confidentiality owed to clients by attorneys. Part III examines Model Rule 1.6. Part IV surveys environmental statutes, noting the strong public policy in favor of protection against environmental hazards. Part V explores common law liability, noting the effect of recent developments in the law, such as the abrogation of the bar of privity and the growth of the concept of the professional's duty to warn third parties of dangers created by a client. Part VI considers the need for viable exceptions to the prohibition against disclosure and suggests a reassessment of Model Rule 1.6 in light of positive law, including both statutory law and common law.