Joel A. Osman, Technology and the Challenge of Maintaining Client Confidences, (County Bar Update, October 2005, Vol. 25, No. 9)

Los Angeles County Bar Association


From the Article

“The California Constitution declares that we all have a right to privacy. Even with this constitutional protection, privacy as a practical matter is getting harder to maintain in the modern world. Every time you use a credit/debit card, drive your OnStar-equipped car, use a cell phone, or go online you may be enabling a further diminishing of your privacy. The technology that allows us to live and work more safely and efficiently also contributes to the overall erosion of privacy in our society.

This phenomenon is of particular import to lawyers. Maintaining client confidences is a cornerstone of the legal profession. Lawyers are required to protect their clients’ confidential information. See Rule of Professional Conduct 3-100 worse, to malpractice claims. Thus, lawyers find themselves on the horns of a dilemma: They need to employ ever more sophisticated technology to boost efficiency and remain competitive; however, this need must be balanced by the continuing need to make sure that no new techno-toy—that is to say, tool—results in an inadvertent leak of confidential client information.”

Rule: 3-100


Referenced Authority: United States v. Councilman, 2005 WL 1907528 (1st Cir. Aug. 11, 2005)


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