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Roger Cramton has called Spaulding v. Zimmerman "one of the great gems of law teaching." The case is extensively discussed in books and articles dealing with legal ethics and is prominently featured in professional responsibility casebooks and courses. According to Professor Cramton, "Spaulding teaches important lessons about the law and ethics of lawyering." These include "the unwillingness of lawyers, judges and the organized profession to talk openly and seriously about the situations in which threats of harm to third persons justify a breach of one of the lawyer's most sacred duties, that of confidentiality to client" and "the reality, again shrouded in professional and judicial silence, that the adversary role of the lawyer in litigation arguably permits, and may sometimes require, a lawyer to behave in an amoral or immoral way."

Here, we approach the case of Spaulding v. Zimmerman from a different angle. What follows is a retelling of the story based upon interviews of several of the people associated with the case. Most importantly, David Spaulding, the central character in this drama, has spoken for the first time about those events.