Yes, an attorney is under a professional obligation to keep your information confidential. The attorney could face serious reprimand, or even lose his license for breaking this obligation and releasing your information to another client.
Law is a self-regulating profession, meaning that lawyers regulate misconduct by other lawyers. Further, confidentiality is essential to the attorney client relationship and, in turn, the legal profession in general. Lawyers would not find work if their clients could not trust them. Therefore, you will be hard pressed to find a lawyer willing to turn over your confidential information to a competitor. Especially in a situation like yours, you will need to be able to trust your attorney with valuable information that could ruin your business if disclosed.
That being said, there are exceptions to every rule. You still likely need to make sure that you are dealing with a reputable attorney, one with something to lose should he breach his confidentiality obligation. An attorney that isn’t doing so well may not have as much to lose and may be more easily enticed to reveal your information.
Bottom line, though, is that the attorney has a job to do and a reputable attorney wouldn’t likely risk his job to give up your information. If you’re still looking for a reputable attorney to help you with your startup, visitwhere we work to match top attorneys in the field with entrepreneurs like you for a free initial consultation.