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The Truth be Told: The Need for a Model Rule Defining a Lawyer’s Duty of Candor to a Client

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The ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct define a lawyer’s duty of candor to seemingly everyone a lawyer may come into contact with—judges, disciplinary boards, jurors, and more. The Model Rules protect nearly everyone a lawyer communicates with save for one very important individual: the client. There is no Model Rule establishing a duty of truthfulness to the client and the ABA has provided no explanation for the exclusion. This Essay explores the beginnings of the Model Rules’ definition of a lawyer’s duty of candor to certain parties, examines possible explanations for the omission of a rule requiring candor to clients, and finally proposes a new rule that would require the duty of candor to be extended to clients.

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