American Bar Association Amendments to Model Rule 1.6

During its August 2012 Annual Meeting, the ABA House of Delegates approved the recommendations sponsored by the ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20. The amendments substantially recognize the evolving use of technology in the advertisement and practice of law and the increasing mobility of lawyers.

In particular, the amendments introduced the concept of reasonable efforts to protect confidentiality in the use of technology.

In an effort to provide guidance to lawyers regarding confidentiality and technology, Model Rule 1.6 adds subsection (c) which states 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.” Comment 16 to the Model Rule is amended to add a non-exhaustive list of factors to be considered when evaluating whether the lawyer’s efforts to prevent disclosure are “reasonable”. The factors weigh the sensitivity of the information and the efforts used against the cost or difficulty of implementing additional safeguards and the practical adverse impact additional safeguards may have in client representation.


The full text of Model Rule 1.6 is available at…