100 N.J.L.J. 281
April 7, 1977
Confidences in Action for Fees
The Committee is asked whether an attorney in an action for
the value of his services may use an admission made by a client in
the presence of an impartial witness that the client had committed
perjury, both in a deposition and in giving testimony, and that he
had misstated the facts to the attorney.
The client had induced the attorney to undertake an action on his behalf for the return of a deposit on real estate on a contingent basis with a small retainer by misrepresenting the truth of an essential element of his case, the subject matter of the perjured testimony. After the adverse decision following trial the client, in the presence of an impartial witness, admitted the perjury in deposition and at trial and, also, admitted the misrepresentations to his attorney in the original presentation. The attorney claims that he was damaged because, in reliance upon
the misrepresentation, he undertook to perform valuable services on a contingency far in excess of what would have been necessary had the client's statement and testimony been true.
In DR 4-101(C) it is provided:
"A lawyer may reveal: ...