Alton Logan Imprisonment
The case of Alton Logan represents one of the greatest dilemmas in the legal profession. Specifically, it highlights some of the major challenges which the attorneys have to go through in their practice. Alton Logan, for instance, was sentenced to life imprisonment for a crime that he did not commit. This was a fact which was well known to Wilson’s attorneys. Apparently, Wilson had confessed to committing the murder which had led to Logan’s conviction (CBSN, 2008). This essay will evaluate the legal code of conduct which governs the activities of attorneys.
Rule 1.6 of the Illinois rules of professional conduct on confidentiality of information was the main obstacle as to why Wilson’s attorneys could not reveal the fact that he was the one who committed the murder. According to the rule, a lawyer has a responsibility of not revealing the information on the representation of a client unless the same client provides informed consent. The rule makes the exemption that information should only be revealed if it would not prejudice the client’s case or in the instances where there is a likelihood of life being lost. Wilson’s lawyers were therefore prevented from revealing the information since they had not received informed consent from their client. In other words, they could have received disciplinary action if they had informed the public regarding Logan’s innocence without first getting consent from Wilson. In addition to that, the attorneys could have revealed the information without prejudice to their client. Ostensibly, the revelation of this information would have led to Wilson being prosecuted for the crime a fact which would have worsened his condition.
If Andrew Wilson’s attorneys were asked to testify in a court of law, then they would not have been required to reveal the information pertaining to their client. As indicated in the clause six of the rule, the lawyers are not required to reveal such information when complying with a law or a court. The requirement to testify in a court of law in his case falls under this category. During such instances, the lawyers are prevented from revealing information which can benefit third parties or that which can lead to the prejudice of their client’s case. In other words, it would be difficult for the lawyers to reveal the information in a manner that could affect their client.
Wilson’s lawyers would have used exemptions to the rule had Logan been sentenced to death. As indicated in clause C of the rule, a lawyer shall reveal information relating to the client in the instances where the lawyer reasonably believes that it is necessary to prevent certain death. It clear that the attorneys were willing to reveal the information if Logan had been given a death sentenced. This decision is informed under the rule whereby it mandates the attorneys to reveal information in the event that the information provided by a client has a potential of causing death.
ABA Model Rule 1.6 can be consistently adhered to when considering diversity and multiculturalism issues. This is attributed to the fact that it highlights the conditions under which the lawyers should preserve the confidentiality of client information and when the same should be released (Fish, 1998). For example the rule states that the lawyers can provide information only when there is a likelihood of a loss of life. This implies that the lawyers should always keep the information from the client confidential. Therefore it is clear that the lawyers can consistently adhere to the rule as there are no contradictions.
In conclusion, it is clear that Wilsons lawyered operated under strict observation of the law. Their decision not to notify the public regarding the role of Wilson in the murder was well informed by the fact that it was in the best interest of their client.
- CBSN, (2008). 26-Year Secret Kept Innocent Man in Prison. Retrieved from https://www.cbsnews.com/news/26-year-secret-kept-innocent-man-in-prison/3/.
- Fish, D. J. (1998). The Use of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct to Establish the Standard of Care in Attorney Malpractice Litigation: An Illogical Practice. S. Ill. ULJ, 23, 65.