Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Risk News Roundup (Professional Standards, Client Security Standards & More)

A smattering from my recent reading list, starting with: "Fate of California Rule Overhaul Now in Court’s Hands" --
  • "California’s multiyear initiative to update its standards governing lawyer conduct shifted to the state supreme court at the end of March when the California state bar sent the court a complete package of proposed professional conduct rules."
  • "California is the only state that hasn’t yet remodeled its lawyer conduct rules along the lines of the ABA templates."
  • "In an interview with Bloomberg BNA, commission member George S. Cardona, Los Angeles, highlighted several areas in which the proposed revisions would align California’s rules with the rules of other jurisdictions, including several conflicts rules, rules on supervision within law firms, the choice-of-law rule, and advertising rules."
  • "'We’ve adopted the ABA format and structure on conflicts on interest,” he [Commission member Mark L. Tuft] said. Regarding the current-client conflicts rule, the commission kept pieces from California’s existing rule but used the structure and format of Model Rule 1.7, Tuft said."
"What Companies Can Demand From Law Firms on Data Security: Association of Corporate Counsel releases first set of model cybersecurity practices."
  • "When hackers broke into the computer networks of two major law firms in New York last year, stealing confidential client information allegedly used for insider trading, cybersecurity jumped up on the list of issues keeping in-house counsel awake at night. The targeting of the law firms served as a wake-up call for the legal industry. Indeed, in surveys, the Association for Corporate Counsel has seen more and more in-house lawyers describe cybersecurity as 'extremely' important."
  • "The ACC, an organization representing more than 42,000 in-house lawyers, on Wednesday released its first set of model cybersecurity practices to help corporate legal departments ensure that outside firms safeguard their company’s confidential information. The guidelines read like a contract between a company and its outside counsel, spelling out how the law firm will handle sensitive information. Among the association’s “highly recommended” measures: Demanding that law firms encrypt all confidential information in their systems."
And Bill Freivogel notes:
  • "Jaskula v. Dybka, 2017 IL App (1st) 160014-U (Ill. App. Unpub. March 23, 2017). The trial court had disqualified Defendants’ lawyer. In this opinion the appellate court reversed. The opinion contains an unremarkable “substantial relationship” analysis along with noting a three-year delay in bringing the motion. Of most interest — at least to us — was the appellate court’s emphasizing the trial court’s error in considering the “appearance of impropriety” as grounds for disqualification. That standard is not in the current Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct and was specifically rejected in Schwartz v. Cortelloni, 685 N.E.2d 871 (Ill. 1997)."

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