Attorneys and Privacy: Obligations Under Professional Responsibility and Model Rules of Professional Conduct (Retired)

Join Daniel Cotter as he provides an overview of the relevant rules of professional conduct and the changes that have recently been implemented to address the intersection of technology and effective representation. He will apply the rules to areas including use of the cloud, encryption of emails, use of public Wi-Fi, and other applications. The session will leave the participants with a better understanding of the importance of understanding the technologies lawyers are utilizing and taking preventive measures to minimize their exposures to ransomware attacks and hacking.

The Model Rules of Professional Conduct changed in the last few years to take a more proactive approach to privacy obligations for lawyers, especially when it comes to the use of technology and client representation. All states have adopted changes to Rule 1.1 and more than half the jurisdictions have adopted Comment 8 to Rule 1.1, which addresses an ethical duty of technology competence. Rule 1.6(e) also changed and comments in many jurisdictions were added to address confidentiality concerns. Recently, the American Bar Association issued Opinion 477, dealing with Rules 1.1 and 1.6(e) and confidentiality of email communications with clients. It later issued Opinion 483, dealing with keeping clients informed. In addition to the ABA and other rule changes for lawyers, organizations such as the Association of Corporate Counsel have issued guidelines for clients to consider when dealing with law firms.