Risk Update

Risk “Issue” Week (Part 2) — ABA Ethics-Palooza

The ABA Law Practice’s “Law Practice Today” magazine issue focused on ethics my queue thanks to Alberto Bernabe of the Professional Responsibility Blog: “Law Practice Today Issue on Ethics“–

  • When the Rules Stagnate Innovation, Change the Rules: Is the profession of law its own worst enemy when it comes to innovation?” — “Would it be simpler, more effective and perhaps more equitable if lawyers could affiliate with other allied professionals to deliver legal and related services? Many lawyers and those delivering legal services go through major machinations to comply with the Rules of Professional Conduct that dictate business structure or the economics of practicing law. The efforts are becoming more acute as technologists and others who aren’t licensed lawyers seize on inefficiencies and opportunities in the market.”
  • Cybersecurity for Attorneys: Addressing the Legal and Ethical Duties: Neglecting your legal and ethical duties to protect client data carries profound risks.” — “A number of state ethics opinions, for over a decade, have addressed professional responsibility issues related to security in attorneys’ use of various technologies. Consistent with the Ethics 20/20 amendments, they generally require competent and reasonable safeguards… In addition to complying with any applicable ethics and legal requirements, the most prudent approach to the ethical duty of protecting electronic communications is to have an express understanding with clients (preferably in an engagement letter or other writing) about the nature of communications that will be (and will not be) sent electronically, and whether or not encryption and other security measures will be utilized. It has now reached the point where all attorneys should have encryption available for use in appropriate circumstances.”
  • Keep Your Mouth Shut!: Why lawyers must avoid revealing confidential client information in an age of open mouths.” — “In the case, IRTH Solutions, LLC v. Windstream Communications, LLC, the court examined the Rules of Evidence, the attorney-client privilege and other relevant sources, concluding that ‘the privileged documents represent more than 10% of the documents produced; only 2200 total pages were produced and Defendant had months to produce the first production; and the review process ‘mistake’ was not the result of a technical error or mistake borne from hours and hours of review for this case.’ The court concluded that the production was reckless and that the privilege had been waived.”