In response to a request for a Rule 18 Ethics Opinion, the Office of General Counsel opined that:

It is ethically permissible to agree to enter or recommend a confidentiality agreement that prevents the disclosure of the settlement amount.

It is also ethically permissible to agree to maintain confidentiality over certain facts, or the identities of individuals or corporate entities that are not in the public record.

And it is ethically permissible to agree not to publish or disseminate the manner in which a case has been resolved.

However, assuming that a case has not been sealed by the Court, the Office of General Counsel is concerned about any attemts at creating liability for attorneys solely for mentioning what is already in public filings. “If there are named parties and certain facts contained in a filed complaint, then any attempt to create liability on the part of the lawyer could have a chilling effect on a lawyer’s ability to handle similar cases in the future, including the ability to properly advise clients in similar situations. See Rule 5.6(b). As an officer of the court, limiting the ability of a lawyer to discuss prior cases with a court may also implicate Rule 3.3 (Candor toward the Tribunal). Furthermore, under Rule 3.4, lawyers generally should not seek to obstruct another lawyer’s or individual’s access to evidence. Lastly, any attempt at preventing a lawyer from using information he has or knows about when trying to assist a client would be in violation of Rule 8.4(d), since such limitations would be prejudicial to the administration of justice.”


Alabama Office of General Counsel Rule 18 Ethics Opinion (Feb. 7, 2022).