Real estate attorneys specialize in legal matters relating to property laws. They make sure that the interest of the client is met in a real estate transaction. The legal professionals can help with preparing requisite documents, fulfilling legal requirements, and also act as an escrow payment holding the earnest money.
One of the important responsibilities of the lawyer relates to the fiduciary duty of confidentiality. In this article, we will shed some light on this legal obligation of the real estate professionals.
What is the Fiduciary Duty of Confidentiality?
Every state has placed laws relating to the fiduciary responsibility of the real estate attorneys regarding confidentiality. The fiduciary duty restricts a real estate attorney from disclosing information of the client. The rules regarding confidentiality are based on Model Rule 1.6 of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct.
The fiduciary duty of confidentiality has broad applications. According to the ABA model, a real estate attorney will not disclose any information that relates to the client’s representation.The responsibility continues even after the representation of the client has ended. In other words, a real estate agent has a duty to keep a client’s information confidential from prospective clients.
Confidentiality duty not just prevents a real estate lawyer from revealing confidential information; it also prohibits the legal professional from using the personal information to the disadvantage of the client. Unless the information has become ‘publicly known’, the real estate attorney cannot use the information against the client’s interests.
When is the Duty of Confidentiality Exempted?
Remember that the real estate attorney’s duty of confidentiality is exempted in certain cases. If a client gives ‘informed consent’, an attorney can reveal confidential information to a third party. However, the attorney is required to disclose only the information that is required for a particular situation. Also, a real estate attorney should explain to the client about the as risks as well as alternatives for disclosure of information.
ABA Model Rule 1.6 (b) has specified other cases when a lawyer can disclose client’s confidential information. These include:
- Disclosure is required by a court order or other law
- To avoid substantial physical harm or death
- To prevent fraud or other crime that is certain to harm another person’s finances or property
- To avoid reasonably certain substantial loss of another
- To obtain advice regarding compliance with ethics rule
- To resolve conflicts of interest pertaining to the change of employment of the attorney
Whether you want to buy or sell a single-family residence, condo, or a commercial property, a real estate attorney can help. The team at SRG Law Group has years of experience in handling real estate related cases. We can help you with all matters related to a real estate transaction. Getting the help of our experienced real estate attorneys will help you avoid legal complications related to your property.