NUMBER 245 1926

Question. In the opinion of the Committee what is the proper course for a lawyer under the following circumstances:

A brother lawyer, unsolicited, writes to an attorney a letter stated to be personal and confidential in which he states certain facts vital to the interests of the attorney’s client of which he has not been informed by his client, and with the suggestion, which is true, that the knowledge of these facts, which the writer thinks the attorney ought to know, may shape his advice to his client. The writer solicits no employment and the letter is not written with that in view, but solely for the purpose above stated. The receiving attorney deems it his professional duty to inform the client of the facts thus coming to his knowledge; and thereupon the client insists upon knowing the source of his information, and upon learning that it was a letter stated to be sent id confidence by a brother lawyer, insists upon seeing the letter; the brother lawyer refuses to remove the injunction of confidence as to the exhibition of his letter to the client.

Answer. In the opinion of the majority of the Committee, the question discloses no facts which make it the professional duty of the lawyer to his client to exhibit the letter to him or to disclose its authorship, nor does the unsolicited injunction of confidence necessarily bind the recipient. The recipient, in the opinion of the Committee, may exercise his own judgment in respect to the exhibition of the letter and the disclosure of its authorship under all of the circumstances of the case. But the Committee does not favor the disclosure unless the recipient is convinced that the interests of his client require it.


In the opinion of a minority of the Committee, however, if the recipient of the letter, after full consideration, is convinced that it was written in good