What is "Reasonable" for a Law Firm With Respect to Protecting Client Data?
Inadvertent disclosures (and data breaches) are inevitable for law firms - we just have too much data to manage all of it well. Thank heavens the ABA's Commission on Ethics 20/20 revised draft proposals are really very practical.
The proposal revision of Model Rule 1.6 says that ?a lawyer shall make reasonable efforts to prevent the unintended disclosure of, or unauthorized access to, information relating to the representation of a client.
The factors to be considered in determining the reasonableness of the lawyer?s efforts are:
The sensitivity of the information
The likelihood of disclosure if additional safeguards are not employed
The cost of employing additional safeguards
The difficulty of implementing the safeguards
The extent to which the safeguards adversely affect the lawyer?s ability to represent clients
Mere disclosure, by itself, does not trigger discipline. How will we determine what is reasonable? I think it will very likely be based on the size (and therefore presumed relative sophistication and resources) of the law firm. And that should make the smaller firms breathe a little easier, but they still need to fall within the definition of "reasonable," a definition that will emerge only over time.
Is It Possible to Secure Law Firm Data To answer the question, we interviewed our friend and colleague Matt Kesner, the CIO of Fenwick & West LLP, a West Coast law firm representing high tech and bio-tech clients. Matt has ?walked the walk? when it comes to security and protecting data...
Protecting Your Data and, More Importantly, Your Clients Data Law firms deal with some of the most confidential and sensitive data in society and yet so many of them have such lax policies on information security. There are some simple things you can do to dramatically improve your information security and they don?t require you to purchase expensive gear...
"Protecting and Securing Confidential Client Data" In the news: "Law firms generally do not protect data the way many of their clients do, say Hinshaw & Culbertson partners Anthony Davis and Michael Downey. Although most firms are not ready to undertake a formal compliance process, there...
Search Blog Directory:
Lawsuits and Settlements
Daimler Chrysler et al. alleged negligence pertaining to lost confidential client data which exposed customers to identity theft