Confidentiality vs “Snitch Rule”at LCL 3/98

-Mental health Services

I am a senior attorney and have been thinking about contacting your office for a while now. I don’t want to discuss my problem here but suffice it to say that I am uneasy about certain things relating to my practice (I practice general law). I haven’t done anything criminal but I am at risk for my actions being misconstrued by an outsider. I had planned to call your office but happened to learn about the new “snitch” rule the same day. Now I don’t want to call. Care to comment?

Rule 8.3 Reporting Professional Conduct went into effect on March 1, 1998. In essence, the rule now requires lawyers to report serious violations of ethical duty by lawyers and judges.

However, the staff at LCL are not attorneys, they are licensed clinical social workers, so the rule does not apply to them. Second, a lawyer being assisted by another lawyer under the auspices of LCL enjoys precisely the same confidentiality protection as exists between a lawyer and client (see Rule 1.6(c)).

We hope that your concern is laid to rest but if not, feel free to call LCL, even anonymously if you like, to talk further about Rule 8.3 or the limitations of mental health-related confidentiality. If you after doing that you are still unsettled, we could refer you to an attorney with whom you could speak. Given that you are feeling vulnerable about your practice, please do seek out assistance here or elsewhere.

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