Wrongful Convictions and Attorney-Client Confidentiality

What recourse does a criminal defense defense attorney have if he or she learns a client has committed a crime ascribed to someone else? On the one hand, as Ken Strutin writes in his article “Wrongful Convictions and Attorney-Client Confidentiality” published at LLRX.COM, “When an innocent person faces conviction, imprisonment, and in some cases death, an attorney mindful of the injustice occuring to a third party is still bound by the rules of confidentialtiy to honor their commitment to their client” But as Mr. Strutin also points out, ABA MRPC Rule 1.6 Confidentiality of Information creates an exception to confidentiality and this exception in turn creates what can become a very difficult ethical quandry for the attorney.

In addition to identifying the relevant issues, the primary focus of his article is to search for ways to resolve this dilemma by examininig both resources about several notable cases and approaches to possible resolution discussed in the scholarly literature .

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