Posted by: johnocunningham | August 20, 2012

New ABA Model Rules For Guarding Client Communications

Model Rule 1.6 regarding “Confidentiality of Information” was recently amended by the addition of a new subsection (c), providing that “a lawyer shall make reasonable efforts to prevent the inadvertent or unauthorized disclosure of, or unauthorized access to, information relating to the representation of a client.”

This change was aimed at, among other things, the growing concern about the mushrooming number of electronic security breaches, particularly at larger law firms and the clients they represent. In fact, the trend in breaches has become so significant that cyber-security is now the number one security concern among General Counsel and board directors, according to a piece in Corporate Counsel magazine. It is also the subject of a session at the International Legal Technology Conference being held in Washington, D.C. on August 29.

There are ways to protect against this threat, as pointed out in a recent piece in Law Technology News, but not every firm can afford to undertake the same measures or allocate the same resources to the problem.

One thing is clear, however, for all law firms of all sizes throughout the country. Their systems are under attack, and the ethical standards set by the ABA will soon make it mandatory (when state jurisdictions adopt the new model rules) for lawyers and firms to learn the affordable and reasonable solutions they can purchase in the cyber-security market. Firms should consider joining organizations, such as the International Legal Technology Association, or attending their conference sessions addressing cyber-security in order to fulfill the duty to protect client communications and client information.




  1. […] New ABA Rules for Guarding Client Communications. […]

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