Keith Ellison Doesn’t Know – Or Ignores – Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct

PLYMOUTH, Minn. – October 14, 2022 – In calling on Jim Schultz, the Republican nominee for Minnesota Attorney General, to reveal his list of clients from his successful career in private practice, Keith Ellison places himself in violation of the Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct by asking Schultz to reveal confidential information belonging to his client.

Specifically, Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct 1.6 prohibits a lawyer from revealing a client’s confidential information where such may be “embarrassing or likely detrimental to the client” without client consent. [See Minn. R. Prof. Cond. 1.6(b.2.), quoted in part.]

Furthermore, Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct 8.4(a) provides that “[i]t is professional misconduct for a lawyer to: (a) violate or attempt to violate the Rules of Professional Conduct, knowingly assist or induce another to do so, or do so through the acts of another” [emphasis added]. By asking Jim to reveal client confidences, Ellison—who often publicizes his purported profound legal knowledge—is “inducing” Jim to violate Rule 1.6(a), which is itself a violation of Rule 8.4(a).

Keith Ellison either doesn’t know the law or he willfully ignores it, proving once again that he is unfit to serve as Minnesota’s top law enforcement officer,” said Schultz campaign manager Christine Snell. “Ellison’s cavalier attitude toward the law is precisely why Minnesotans don’t trust him to uphold the law and protect them from violent criminals and restore public safety.

Unlike Keith Ellison’s clients, which even included an individual implicated in the execution of a police officer, Jim’s clients over the years have been entirely reputable and have included Minnesota school districts, Minnesota cities, and Minnesota-based small businesses,” Snell added. “But again unlike Ellison, nothing will lead Jim to violate standards of ethical conduct.

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