Leadership

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and Its Impact on the Attorney-Client Privilege and Legal Ethics

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Executive Summary

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 was passed in an effort to achieve more transparency for public companies, avoid conflict of interests in auditing and accounting areas, and to restore public confidence in American commerce. While the Act has resulted in a number of changes, the unanticipated change in the attorney-client privilege, as articulated by the American Bar Association, may be one of the more significant changes, for the legal profession itself. Certainly the "Tattle-tale" aspects of the new ABA ethical rule will be unattractive to in-house counsel, and they will go to great lengths to distance themselves from any information that would cause them to be "Reasonably certain" that any information may have a "Substantial harm" on the financial or property interests of another.

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