I asked this question before but it was misinterpreted. I intend to use an attorney to represent me in an SEC whistleblower case

Asked 10 months ago - New York, NY

as I request anonymity. I know there's supposed to be anonymity between myself, the atty and the SEC. There are however, many sleazy lawyers out there (no offense intended), and what I'm afraid of, is a lawyer telling me I have no viable case and then sharing the matter with a friend or whomever, who assumes the position of the "plaintiff", reaping the possible rewards. How do I protect myself from this? Is there some kind of agreement signed to this effect upon meeting? As an aside, I filed for a patent and all of this was done up front, i.e., I was covered, so my invention couldn't be given to someone else. Thank you.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Jack Richard Lebowitz


    Contributor Level 18


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You can certainly ask a prospective attorney to sign a confidentiality and non-disclosure agreement (you can find them on the web) concerning the matters you wish to discuss, but I doubt that given the strict attorney-client confidentiality privileges that normally apply to such communications and the fact that you can get an attorney disciplined by the state licensing boards for unauthorized disclosure that many are going to be as "sleazy" as you fear.

    If your case is that good (are you looking for a contingency case?), I doubt they will lie to you about its viability and then find some dummy plaintiff to sue who will want less of a cut. But the non-disclosure agreement should help if you don't retain them and they launch some class action suit on behalf of someone else as you fear.

    This answer is provided under the Avvo.com “Terms and Conditions of Use” (“ToU”), particularly ¶9 which states... more
  2. Robert V Cornish Jr.

    Contributor Level 16


    Lawyer agrees


    Answered . Attorney/client privilege generally starts when you meet with an attorney for the purpose of a consultation, which of course makes sense when you're talking about someone trying to get all the facts to figure out if you've got a case (or not). While that should be enough, you can certainly ask prospective counsel to sign a confidentiality agreement beforehand. But the best protection you can get is hiring reputable counsel with whom you are comfortable - and that is something only you can determine.

    The foregoing is not legal advice nor is it in any manner whatsoever meant to create or impute an attorney/client... more

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