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Wash. L. Rev.


This article assesses the operation of Model Rule 1.6 in light of environmental catastrophes and concludes that the realities of environmental dangers demand reassessment of the ABA rule on confidentiality.

Part II recounts the history and purpose of the duty of confidentiality. Part III examines the text, commentary, and legislative history of Model Rule 1.6. Part IV discusses modifications to Rule 1.6 by states that have adopted the Model Rules. Part V examines two predominant views of the attorney (as champion and as officer of the court) as they relate to the issue of confidentiality. Part VI assesses Rule 1.6 in light of these conceptualizations of the attorney's role, concluding that the model of the attorney-champion pervades the Model Rules. Part VII surveys the interaction between the ethical rules and environmental dangers. Finally, Part VIII suggests a reconceptualization of Rule 1.6 to weigh the risks of attorney silence against the risks of attorney disclosure.