Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Free CLE Risk Webinar on ABA Model Rule 1.10 Changes

There's an excellent webinar reviewing the substance and implications recent changes to ABA Model Rule 1.10. This rule governs the ability of law firms to use ethical screens pre-emtively to cure conflicts associated with taking on lateral attorneys who have represented parties adverse to current firm clients.

There was quite a bit of controversy and debate before these changes were accepted by the ABA. You can read a little more about the history and debate here on the ABA's own web site.

The model rule is just that, a model. But it does highlight a growing trend of jurisdictions accepting the reality of attorney mobility and the suitability of screens to address past conflicts.

The ABA webinar I mentioned is available via Thomson West on their webinar site: "Understanding and Responding to Recent ABA Changes to Rule 1.10 Screening Requirement." It's a free session and offers 1 CLE credit (eligible for ethics credit as well).

Speakers include experts from Marsh Insurance (Managing Director), Zuckerman Spaeder (Loss Avoidance Partner), APRL - Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers (their president), and IntApp (software/consulting company providing screening products, the head of their risk practice).

It's an interesting and informative session, well worth the hour.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Risk Issue: Is Your Firm Leaking?

It’s no secret that 2009 has been a year of tremendous change for law firms. This “Great Recession” has had significant impact on the legal profession as most firms have downsized in some regard, sometimes drastically. Lateral movement has picked up as the value of individual lawyers’ books of business appreciates in this climate.

Is your firm thinking about risk issues in this context? With all of this turnover and movement, where is client information going? What about the firm’s KM, precedent and other “crown jewels”? Are those walking out along with attorneys and staff? Are you sure?

In the days of yore, the physical nature of this information and files made this problem much easier to spot and manage. Today, individuals came move out truckloads of client and firm information from your DM or KM libraries on a USB drive (or even an innocuous looking ipod).

Technology does not seem to be helping… but can it? Here’s an interesting article published in an ILTA white paper that goes into greater detail. It reviews these issues and comments on how some firms are using aggregate “abnormal monitoring” technology and “activity tracking” tools to throw up red flags when suspicious behavior might indicate a larger risk. It’s entitled: “Is Your Firm Leaking? Why Data Leakage Can Happen Now More Than Ever.”