3.3 Days of the Candor

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In Three Days of the Condor, Robert Redford plays a CIA researcher who finds himself “in danger and in love.”  ABA Model Rule 3.3 — Candor Toward the Tribunal — probably won’t help your love life, but there is plenty of danger involved; if you fail to comply, that is.

Rule 3.3 prohibits not only the making of false statements and submission of false evidence, but also omissions, like failing to correct a prior false statement or disclose adverse authority.  Rule 3.3 is regarded as so important that, by its terms, it even trumps a lawyer’s duty of confidentiality.

Judges certainly regard it as important.  Recently, a federal judge sua sponte ordered a group of lawyers from a firm to show cause why they should not be sanctioned for failing to comply with Rule 3.3.  What did they do wrong?  They failed to cite adverse relevant authority from a controlling Circuit Court in a motion to dismiss.  Notably, the order was directed to all lawyers whose names appeared on the papers — two partners and an associate.  Although the parties have since settled the case (with the law firm chipping in), the lawyers still have to answer to the judge.

I won’t blow the ending of Condor, but I can certainly tell you what will happen if you blow your duty of Candor.  To learn more about both Condor and Candor, click on the attached.