ABA Opposes Proposed Labor Rule that Would Force Lawyers to Reveal Client Info and Fees
Debra Cassens Weiss | ABA Journal
Sept. 22, 2011
ABA President Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III is urging the U.S. Department of Labor to reconsider a proposed reporting rule that would require lawyers to reveal sensitive client information.
Currently the Labor Department interprets the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act to exempt lawyers from the law’s “persuader activities” reporting requirements when the lawyers provide legal services directly to employers, but have no direct contact with employees.
Under the proposed rule change, lawyers who provide legal advice to employer clients and who engage in any persuader activities have to file periodic disclosure reports, even if the lawyers have no direct contact with the employees.
In a comment letter (PDF) submitted on Wednesday, Robinson writes that the new interpretation would require lawyers and their employer clients to disclose a substantial amount of confidential client information, including the identity of the client, the general nature of the legal representation and a description of the legal tasks performed. The proposal would also require lawyers to report legal fees paid by their employer clients for labor relations advice or services.
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