The lawyer who handles sexual abuse claims should know how to spot when a client has been abusing and when he or she has not.
The lawyer can offer guidance on what to do if a client is abusive, and what to tell the court, attorney William F. McKeon III said.
The advice comes in two parts, he said.
McKenna: I am not the lawyer for the clients.
The client is.
The court is.
I am the lawyer.
The judge is.
You have to be careful.
When you have a client who is going to do something and you know what to expect, you are not going to want to get involved, he told the audience at the Lawyer’s Institute of Colorado.
He said he had seen a lot of clients who were not doing things they were supposed to do and had no idea how to protect themselves.
The attorney said he thinks it is best to protect your client’s confidentiality by telling him or her what the law says and by telling the court and the judge what you think they should know.
The attorney also said that if you feel that you can’t be sure of what is going on, you should always tell your client that you are worried about him or herself and what they will do.
The attorneys are working on a series of reports for the legal system, including a report that examines the problem of sexual abuse in the legal profession, McKeo said.
It was designed to address the question of whether it is appropriate to make the assumption that the allegations of sexual misconduct are being investigated or whether they are being swept under the rug, he added.
For more than a decade, lawyers and lawyers’ groups have called for stronger disclosure requirements, saying that it is a common practice for lawyers to discuss their professional duties, such as the work they do, without informing clients about the possibility of harassment.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children released a report last year saying that many attorneys, including law professors, practice sexual misconduct outside the workplace and that they often have not been told about it.
But some legal experts say that it would be too complicated to change how lawyers discuss sexual misconduct in their practice without changing how they treat clients.
I have worked with hundreds of lawyers and they all share the same concern that their professional work should be confidential and the only thing that should be disclosed is the facts of the case and what is known about it, said David A. Wohlberg, a law professor at Georgetown University.
A law professor who teaches at a law school and whose clients include celebrities and politicians, Wohlberger said that the public has a right to know about allegations of misconduct by lawyers.
As a result, he urged lawyers to follow the guidelines that the American Bar Association set in 2006, which says that lawyers must not discuss allegations of wrongdoing unless they have a legitimate reason for doing so, and that if the lawyer believes a client committed a crime, the lawyer must report it to the prosecutor or police department.
Wohlers lawyers have been involved in more than 60 sexual misconduct investigations since 2006.
Wohlberg said that it was too early to tell how many of his students have reported being sexually harassed by lawyers, but he believes that at least half of the people who have contacted him have been accused of inappropriate behavior.
He said he was surprised to learn that more than half of his clients had reported being harassed.
He added that he is now taking more than 20 sexual misconduct cases and expects to report them to the law school’s Office of Institutional Equity in the coming weeks.
If you have questions about this article, contact Sarah Niedermann at [email protected] or call 866-420-3870.