Checking Spouse’s Legal Emails in Divorce Case = CONFIDENTIAL!

Attorney-client confidentiality is such a revered concept that it even requires a divorce attorney to keep quiet if the client reveals that he or she is reading his or her spouse’s emails sent to and from opposing counsel. According to the New York State Bar Association Committee on Professional Ethics, the attorney must not reveal this information unless he or she knows that such conduct is criminal or fraudulent or if applicable judicial decisions or other law require disclosure. While the attorney should counsel the client to refrain from this behavior, the attorney should not reveal the client’s actions “absent an exception to the general duty to preserve a client’s confidential information.” The Committee examined and subsequently dismissed any ethics rules that could abrogate the attorney’s duties under Rule 1.6.


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