In a recent formal Ethics Opinion, the American Bar Association stressed that lawyers must make reasonable efforts to prevent inadvertent or unauthorized access to confidential information relating to the representation of their clients. The ABA recognized that in the age of constant cybersecurity threats, law firms are targets for hackers for two reasons:
(1) they obtain, store and use highly sensitive information about their clients while at times utilizing safeguards to shield that information that may be inferior to those deployed by the client, and (2) the information in their possession is more likely to be of interest to a hacker and likely less voluminous than that held by the client.
The Opinion further recognizes that while the Model Rules of Professional Conduct do not impose greater or different duties of confidentiality based upon the method by which a lawyer communicates with his or her client, electronic communication involves risks that are constantly changing. Continue Reading ABA Encourages Encryption of Emails When Transmitting Confidential Client Information