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Appeals court rules FTC cannot force lawyers to provide confidentiality notice

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit [official website] ruled [opinion text, PDF] Tuesday that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) [official website] lacks the statutory authority to compel lawyers to provide periodic notice of privacy to clients under the 1999 Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act [text], regulating "financial institutions." The Court said that Congress never intended for the Act to apply to lawyers and the FTC had overstepped the bounds of its power under the statute. The American Bar Association (ABA) [profession website] contends [press release] that clients are better protected by the ethical codes of conduct for lawyers that each state imposes and that notices under the Act would only confuse clients who already expect confidentiality. The ABA and New York State Bar Association [official website] brought the suit against the FTC. AP has more.

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