Category Archives: General Legal

Shhh…CONFIDENTIAL.

Keeping secrets is my business.

Attorney client confidentiality and privilege are legal terms of art. Today’s blog will deal with confidentiality and privilege will be in a follow up blog.

Confidentiality is an ethical obligation on the the attorney to keep your business, your business. That means that your identity, the fact you called, or had an appointment, and the content of the discussions are all private. It means it is kept a secret to the extent it needs to be.

Confidentiality does not mean you may not disclose some information to others. If there is a pending suit and I am hired and file on your behalf then those facts are no longer confidential. If I need to disclose some facts to have an expert evaluate them, then to that extent, the disclosure to a third party, is no longer confidential. However, confidentiality can apply to third parties, including; experts, other attorneys in the firm, and staff in the firm.

The American Bar Assoc. Model Rule 1.6, states:

“A lawyer shall not reveal information relating to the representation of a client unless the client gives informed consent, the disclosure is impliedly authorized in order to carry out the representation or the disclosure is permitted by paragraph (b).”

“The rule prohibits a lawyer from sharing any information learned about their client–whether learned directly from the client or not–that is related to the representation without permission from the client. This is a broad duty. However…there are a number of instances where disclosure is permitted without a client’s consent, including preventing death or substantial bodily harm, preventing the client from committing a crime or fraud that will injure another, preventing or mitigating harm that may result from a crime committed by the client, compliance with other law or a court order, securing legal advice about compliance with the rule, establishing claims and defenses in the event of a dispute between the lawyer and the client, or resolving potential conflicts of interest for the lawyer. Given these numerous exceptions, a lawyer must pay close attention to the particular facts of their situation when determining whether disclosure is permitted.” ABA, Model Rule 1.6

 

Matthew Thompson is a Mississippi Family Law Attorney and keeps your secrets.

Even $273 Million reasons couldn’t bring us back together…

5 months ago Mike got divorced.

It was a 15-year long marriage. For much of it Mike was unemployed. Eileen had had enough. Eileen had to pay Mike alimony based on their respective earnings, earning capacities and work histories.

5 months later Mike won $273 million dollars in the New Jersey lottery.

Upon learning of the win, Eileen said “He’s not appealing to me all of a sudden because he has this money.”

Mike responded, “$270 million does not make me appealing to her — that’s what she said?”

“It’s over with…I just want her to stop being in my life.”

While it appears no amount of money could salvage this relationship, Mike plans to salve his wounds with a new pickup truck, a vacation and listening to his lawyer.

Eileen has a basis to modify and possibly terminate her alimony obligations to Mike. Win, win.

Matthew Thompson is an Alimony Lawyer in Mississippi which just approved lotteries. Get ready!

Judging the Judge

There are a smattering of sites devoted to ostracizing a few select judges. These usually pop up when one party feels so aggrieved that they decide to let the whole world know about it. There is nowhere online that judges are celebrated.

Now there is a place to do this. The Robing Room. This site is a place where Judges are Judged. It reports to be operated by attorneys and is based in New York City!

The site lists Judges by Federal and State Districts. The Mississippi page, linked here, has Judges listed by County and by Circuit or Chancery District. The listings have not been updated in some time, and a number of the judges are not judges anymore due to retirement and elections.

There are only a handful of reviews for Mississippi, but other states have more. I assume the dearth of information is because this is not a commonly known site in Mississippi.

So if you love your judge or love to tell the world how bad he/she is, now is your chance. The site states the postings are anonymous, though require an email to post a rating. The rating provides for a numerical score on multiple characteristics and allows for comments.

Matthew Thompson is a Family law attorney and knows the judges may groan about this. However, the positions are non-partisan, elected and subject to public scrutiny or praise. Be the judge that gets the praise.