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In re Marandas

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 01-12-2012
Case #: S058559
Before De Muniz, C.J., Durham, J., Balmer, J., Kistler, J., Walters, J., and Landau, J; per curiam.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/S058559.pdf

Civil Law: An attorney may refuse to disclose the details of a settlement agreement due to confidentiality concerns if there is a basis in law and fact for such a claim and the actions taken do not prejudice the administration of justice.

Mirandas, an Oregon attorney, was previously involved in an action to foreclose an attorney's lien during which he settled with some defendants, but not others, and refused to disclose the settlement details by claiming they were confidential. The Oregon Bar then charged Mirandas with several Rule of Professional Conduct and Disciplinary Rule violations, and the trial panel found that Mirandas made misrepresentations as to the confidentiality of the settlement, which caused prejudice to the administration of justice. The panel imposed a three month suspension from the practice of law. On review, the Oregon Supreme Court held in a unanimous per curiam opinion that the Bar failed to prove the charges by clear and convincing evidence, as Mirandas did not prejudice the administration of justice and had valid reasons in law and fact for claiming the agreement was confidential. Complaint dismissed.