Wendell Courtney was counsel for Penn State during all the relevant time period and also for “The Second Mile”, although there is some controversy as to when and in what capacity with the charitable organization. Regardless of this discrepancy, all attorneys owe their clients a duty of loyalty and must keep their client‘s best interest at heart and never reveal any confidences. These obligations extend even when the lawyer no longer works for the client. He/she is bound for eternity.
So what does Wendell do today, he throws Penn State under the bus, informing the world that they never told him about the shower incident. This maybe true but he is ethically bound to keep his lips zipped. First of all, it puts Penn State in a bad light, showing that a cover-up was in play, for surely, they would have informed their lawyer about the situation. This is a breach of his duty of loyalty to his client – the University.
Secondly, it reveals confidences, which again violates legal ethics.Confidences are matters that are not for public consumption. One must know that they can freely converse with their lawyer and not have it spread all over town. Part of what makes up confidences is not only what is said but what is not said. People can deduce what is going on between two parties by stitching together both the known and unknown. Here, what was exactly said and done between Penn State and its lawyer was only for them to know. However, Mr. Courtney decided that it was in his best interest to let the rest of the world in on the secret. That is a big no-no.
Mr. Courtney appears to have many legal woes stemming from the Penn State-Second Mile & Jerry Sandusky fiasco. He is in the cooker right now. What he did was to shift blame from himself onto a client, not a wise move; he obviously is in need of expert legal advice.
I am all ears and don’t worry Wendell, I wont tell a soul.