Duty of Candor Law & Legal Definition


Duty of candor refers to duty of a public authority to disclose material facts. The general duty of candor requires attorneys to be honest and forthright with courts. The attorneys should also refrain from deceiving or misleading courts either through direct representations or through silence. This duty is owed to courts during all aspects of litigation. The duty of candor towards the tribunal is a widely recognized one within the legal profession. [Gum v. Dudley, 202 W. Va. 477, 485 (W. Va. 1998)].

The duty of candor is an important part of the U.S. justice system for the following reasons:

1.Firstly, the duty of candor is an integral part of ensuring that the U.S. system of justice functions properly, because first and foremost an attorney is an officer of the court, whose purpose is to seek the truth in order to do justice;

2. Secondly, the duty of candor is important in providing clients with an attorney's independent professional judgment so as to not create unreasonable client expectations, which when dashed can undermine confidence in the justice system;

3.Thirdly, the duty of candor helps promote judicial efficiency and avoid crowding the court's docket with frivolous actions.