Comm 335

By the end of this course, students should be able to Corresponding Communication Studies Departmental Objectives: The University intends the whole of its undergraduate program to enable students to 1.

Comm 335

Such conditions have the purpose and effect of preventing counsel from informing potential clients of their experience and expertise, thereby making it difficult for future clients to identify well-qualified counsel and employ them to bring similar cases.

By diminishing the opportunity for the lawyer to represent future clients in similar matters, such conditions violates D. A settlement agreement may provide that the terms of the settlement and other non-public information may be kept confidential, but it may not require that public information be confidential.

Applicable Rules Rule 1. The complaint has been filed and is not under seal. Moreover, the complaint has received substantial media attention.

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Discussion Settlements are frequently conditioned on the confidentiality of their terms. Nonetheless, there are undoubtedly circumstances in which a plaintiff has her own motives for wishing settlement terms to remain confidential, such as preventing other persons Comm 335 learning precisely how much or little she has recovered.

The Inquiry, however, goes beyond the confidentiality of the settlement terms, and raises the question whether, as part of the settlement, one lawyer may prohibit another from further disclosure of already public information, including the name of the defendant and the allegations of the complaint, as well as information that can readily be inferred from the public Comm 335, such as the fact that the litigation settled.

While terms of a settlement are frequently confidential, the fact of settlement rarely is. If a settlement is not announced by the parties, the public record may not actually disclose that it has occurred, although in cases where settlements require court approval, it will.

But the voluntary dismissal will alert most knowledgeable persons that there has almost certainly been a settlement, and in most instances, a number of people will become aware that the case has settled.

Comm 335

This is so even if the lawyer believes the decision to be unwise. Enforcement of such an agreement might effectively prevent the lawyer from representing future clients since the only way for the lawyer to ensure that he does not use information that he has learned is to decline to represent anyone else in a similar case.

Underlying each of the opinions disapproving restrictions on the future conduct of lawyers, under the rule equivalent to D. As such, it interferes with the basic principle that D.

Were clauses such as these to be regularly incorporated in settlement agreements, lawyers would be prevented from disclosing their relevant experience, and clients would be hampered in identifying experienced lawyers.

There was a time, of course, before the advent of websites and marketing departments and lawyer advertising, when public disclosures of relevant expertise were frowned upon, if not outright prohibited.

Those days are gone. If the conditions proposed by the defendant could be part of a settlement agreement, why could the defendant not propose that the lawyer never speak of the case again unless compelled to do so by formal process?

This would bring about a situation where a lawyer could not reveal to a potential client public record information that would demonstrate his experience and ability.

The only restrictions on lawyer advertising in the District of Columbia are that all claims must be truthful and subject to substantiation. Given that policy, we believe confidentiality provisions in settlement agreements that prohibit a lawyer from disclosing such public information as the name of the defendant, the public allegations, and the fact of settlement would violate D.

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If a client withholds permission for her lawyer to disclose public information, we agree that the lawyer must keep the information secret and that D. A settlement agreement may require a lawyer to keep non-public information confidential.

It is well established that non-public information, such as the terms of a settlement, may remain confidential. Once the matter is public, a settlement agreement may not impose confidentiality on otherwise public matters without violating D. A lawyer may not propose or agree to such a confidentiality provision.

In drawing this line we are striking a balance consistent with the rationale of the Rules and with widely accepted practices. While it might be argued that a lawyer would be better able to market his services, and a client better able to identify a qualified representative, if no information about any case, including the terms of settlement, could be kept confidential, such a decision is contrary to long-standing accepted practices with respect to settlement agreements.

A reasonable resolution is to draw a line between information that is public at the time of settlement and information that remains confidential.

New York seems to have taken a similar approach. It also has the virtue of offering clear guidance to practitioners. Our broad reading of D. We acknowledge that confidentiality provisions, such as the one at issue, might have value that the client can trade in order to get better terms from the other side.

If a lawyer may not agree to such a provision, he deprives his client of that value. Yet an agreement that the lawyer will not represent future clients against the settling defendant also has value that his client could trade.

Yet the Rules of Professional Conduct prohibit such agreements not to sue as part of settlements.COMM - INTERCULTURAL COMMUNIC class wall and course overview (exams, quizzes, flashcards, and videos) at Texas A&M (A&M).


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A specialized area if study within comm. taking an interpretive perspective, scholars analyze verbal and nonverbal activities that have symbolic significance for the members of cultural groups to understand the rules & patterns followed by the groups.

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