Sei sulla pagina 1di 2

TAMDOG, ANJELIKA B.

PALE
ETHICAL IMPLICATIONS OF GIVING LEGAL ADVICE
THROUGH THE INTERNET
CANON 2 - A LAWYER SHALL MAKE HIS LEGAL SERVICES AVAILABLE IN AN
EFFICIENT AND CONVENIENT MANNER COMPATIBLE WITH THE INDEPENDENCE,
INTEGRITY AND EFFECTIVENESS OF THE PROFESSION.
Rule 2.02 - In such cases, even if the lawyer does not accept a case, he shall not refuse to
render legal advice to the person concerned if only to the extent necessary to safeguard the
latter's rights.

CANON 21 - A LAWYER SHALL PRESERVE THE CONFIDENCE AND SECRETS OF HIS


CLIENT EVEN AFTER THE ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATION IS TERMINATED.

Rule 21.01 - A lawyer shall not reveal the confidences or secrets of his client except;
(a) When authorized by the client after acquainting him of the consequences of the
disclosure;
(b) When required by law;
(c) When necessary to collect his fees or to defend himself, his employees or associates or
by judicial action.

The advancement of technology and the rapid evolution of


such technologies had opened various avenues of communication
to almost aspects of life and the society.
Thus, interactions between a lawyer and a client that
traditionally transpires in an office setting before the advent of
the internet has eventually changed and can now be conducted
through the means of the internet or cyberspace.
Advances in communication technology also have altered
how the practice of law occurs. The possibility of a lawyer working
in the province of Cagayan servicing a client in Manila can easily
transfer documents and written communication because of the
seamless and boundless communication technology.
Legal ethicist and lawyers in general are just beginning to
struggle with questions involving the internets impact on the
practice of law and legal ethics.
Even sending a presumably harmless response to an
unsolicited e-mail: the ethical landscape is, at present almost
completely unknown. Could a reply to an unsolicited e-mail be

likened to casual advice given at a cocktail party, which generally


but not always, is insufficient to establish an attorney-client
relationship? Or can it be said that if the e-mail was the result of a
potential client looking at the firms website which; after all, often
serves primarily as an advertising vehicle for the firm- that the
firm created an implied invitation to communicate confidential
information? The law on this area is not only unclear, it is entirely
unaddressed. The connection between casual advice and an
implied relationship can create real problems for unsuspecting
attorneys, involving everything from a conflict that would
preclude representation of a current client to malpractice liability.
A lawyer owes implied clients many of the same fiduciary duties
owed to clients in more traditional relationships. Thus, the
seemingly harmless thirty-second response to a question received
through e-mail can result in lasting unpleasant dilemma.
The objective of this note or paper is to examine the ethical
issues, including attorney-client relationship, surrounding e-mails
sent to attorneys and the ethical implications of disclosure in an
unsolicited e-mail that includes the ethical question whether or
not for purposes of professional responsibility owe duties of
confidentiality or loyalty or care to a person sending such
correspondence.

Reference:
1. Harvard Law Journal
Dont just hit send: Unsolicited e-mail and the attorney client
relationships by Douglas K. Schnell
2. Attorney client relationship in the age of technology by
Grace M. Giesel