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CHAPTER V CONFIDENTIALITY AND ZEAL I INTRODUCTION Both preserving a client s confidences and representing a client zealously are viewed as fundamental duties of an attorney What is the source of these duties What is there about the role an attorney plays which requires these obligations While there is no serious dispute that confidentiality and zeal are desirable attributes of an attorney in representing a client at some point preserving a client s confidences or secrets may inhibit the truthfinding function of the adversary system or may prevent the just resolution of a dispute between parties And at some point zeal on the part of a client may infringe upon the rights of others and may lead the attorney to violations of law How much impairment of the truth finding function or infringement on the rights of others do the concepts of confidentiality and zeal allow At what point must these concepts give way Commentators have been debating these questions for some time but have produced less than satisfying answers This section will identify the competing interests at stake and examine attempts to resolve these issues taken by the Model Rules the courts and the bar II CONFIDENTIALITY A Attorney Client Privilege The attorney client privilege prevents attorneys from being compelled to disclose the confidences of their clients It is an evidentiary privilege and has no application outside of the courtroom In addition its scope is normally quite narrow Although as the case below demonstrates Missouri takes a broad view of the privilege it is still available only in limited circumstances as defined by statute and common law State ex rel Great American Insurance Co v Smith 574 S W 2d 379 Mo banc 1978 Respondent Judge ordered relators fire insurers being sued for failure to pay to turn over letters from their attorney written during the course of investigation of a fire and providing advice regarding whether to pay the claim Relators brought a proceeding in prohibition to avoid



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