I'm looking for an employment attorney and most seem to want the discuss the case, to see whether or not I have a case, before agreeing to represent me. Does this mean that any information I give them should remain confidential?

One of them has asked me to email him copies of emails I have that would be evidence in the case. Would he be required to keep them confidential?



There is a special attorney-client confidentiality rule (at least in most U.S. jurisdictions) that requires an attorney to keep confidential and protects with the attorney-client privilege, information disclosed when an attorney and client are in the process of evaluating whether they want to establish an attorney-client relationship.

If enough relevant information is exchanged, this information can also create a conflict of interest that would prevent the attorney from representing the opposing party in the same dispute.

The ethical rule in states that have adopted a version of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct is Rule 1.18:

Duties to Prospective Client

(a) A person who consults with a lawyer about the possibility of forming a client-lawyer relationship with respect to a matter is a prospective client.

(b) Even when no client-lawyer relationship ensues, a lawyer who has learned information from a prospective client shall not use or reveal that information, except as Rule 1.9 would permit with respect to information of a former client.

(c) A lawyer subject to paragraph (b) shall not represent a client with interests materially adverse to those of a prospective client in the same or a substantially related matter if the lawyer received information from the prospective client that could be significantly harmful to the prospective client, except as provided in paragraph (d). If a lawyer is disqualified from representation under this paragraph, no lawyer in a firm with which that lawyer is associated may knowingly undertake or continue representation in such a matter, except as provided in paragraph (d).

(d) When the lawyer has received disqualifying information as defined in paragraph (c), representation is permissible if:

(1) both the affected client and the prospective client have given informed consent, confirmed in writing; or

(2) the lawyer who received the information took reasonable measures to avoid exposure to more disqualifying information than was reasonably necessary to determine whether to represent the prospective client; and

(i) the disqualified lawyer is timely screened from any participation in the matter and is apportioned no part of the fee therefrom; and

(ii) written notice is promptly given to the prospective client.

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