I. Can Doe reveal that Mr. King intends on lying in the upcoming litigation if asked if he had any alcohol prior to the accident? II. After consulting with King and he still intends on lying on the stand, can Doe withdraw from the case? III. Can Doe make a false statement of material fact or law to a court and fail to disclose a material fact necessary to avoid assisting King in a criminal or fraudulent act and offer false evidence?
The first relevant ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC) is Rule 1.6 (Confidentiality of Information). Rule 1.6(a) prohibits a lawyer from revealing 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 (b) where a lawyer may reveal information relating to the representation of a client to the extent the lawyer reasonably believes necessary. The second RPC to be considered is Rule 1.16 (Declining or Terminating Representation). Rule 1.16(a)(1) prohibits the continuing representation of a client when the representation will result in a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct. Finally, we must consider RPC is Rule 3.3 (Candor Toward the Tribunal). Rule 3.3(a), (b) and (c) prohibit a lawyer from making a false statement of material fact or law to a court and from failing to disclose a material fact necessary to avoid assisting the client in a criminal or fraudulent act. Rule 3.3(c) also prohibits a lawyer from knowingly offering false evidence. ANALYSIS
The first attempt is to persuade the client not commit perjury and to testify truthfully. Nix v. Whiteside, 475 U.S. 157 (1986), the Supreme Court held, at a minimum, a lawyer’s first duty when confronted with potential perjury is to attempt to dissuade the client from any unlawful course of conduct. The second approach is to permit the lawyer to withdraw from the...