Tuesday, September 21, 2010

ABA Ethics 20/20 Commission Hearing on Confidentiality Standards

The ABA Ethics 20/20 Commission is holding a public hearing on "Client Confidentiality and Lawyers’ Use of Technology," to collect input as part of its ongoing efforts to identify changes that may require updates to industry professional rules and standards. In its call for comment and participation, the committee noted that changing business practices, technologies and expectations all place increasing attention on this issue:
  •  "One of the Commission’s objectives is to determine what guidance to offer to lawyers who want to ensure that their use of technology complies with their ethical obligations to protect clients’ confidential information."
  •  "Lawyers must take reasonable precautions to ensure that their clients’ confidential information remains secure. When data was strictly in hard copy form, lawyers could easily discern how to satisfy their professional obligations and did not need elaborate ethical guidance. Now that data is predominantly in electronic form, however, the necessary precautions are more difficult to identify. One of the Commission’s goals is to identify the precautions that are either ethically necessary or professionally advisable.
The hearing will take place on October 14th, in Chicago.

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