District of Columbia Bar Opinion 370

Opinion No. 370 of the District of Columbia Bar’s Legal Ethics Committee   Topic: Social Media I, Marketing and Personal Use   Conclusion of the Committee: “Social media is a constantly changing area of technology. Social media can be an effective tool for providing information to the public, for networking and for communications. However, using […]

Illinois State Bar Association Opinion 16-06

ISBA Professional Conduct Advisory Opinion No. 16-06   Topic: Confidentiality; Conflicts of Interest   Digest of the ISBA: A lawyer may use cloud-based services in the delivery of legal services provided that the lawyer takes reasonable measures to ensure that the client information remains confidential and is protected from breaches. The lawyer’s obligation to protect the […]

New York State Bar Opinion 1077

Committee on Professional Ethics Topic: “Record retention and electronic storage.” Digest of the Committee: “A law firm may scan original signed retainer agreements into the firm computer system and then destroy the original agreements, provided that the firm maintains the scanned copies for seven years after the events they record.   Relevant Law: New York’s […]

Scanned copy of signed retainer agreement must be retained for seven years if the original is destroyed – NYSBA Opinion 1077

On December 9, 2015, the Committee on Professional Ethics of the New York State Bar issued Opinion 1077 providing guidelines on how law firms should keep record of retainer and compensation agreements with clients. A law firm with “a high volume practice” that receives “thousands of signed retainer agreements” every year asked whether they “may […]

Comprehensive Ethics Opinion on Lawyers’ Use of Social Media issued in West Virginia

On September 22, 2015, the West Virginia Office of Disciplinary Counsel Legal Ethics issued a comprehensive opinion to provide the guidance for lawyers on the use of social media for both business and personal matters.  West Virginia Office of Disciplinary Counsel Legal Ethics Opinion 2015-02 Lawyer Disciplinary Board – L.E.O. 2015-02 The Disciplinary Board provided […]

Allyson Haynes Stuart, The 3 “C’s” of Ethics in E-Discovery. Part One

E-discovery is inseparable from the issue of ethics. Because lawyer duties and requirements permeate the realm of e-discovery, they invariably implicate lawyers’ ethical duties. This is illustrated by the fact that the most notorious e-discovery cases are ones where lawyers are heavily sanctioned – including referral to a state bar for disciplinary proceedings. This article […]

The 3 “C’s” of Ethics in E-Discovery Allyson Haynes Stuart – Part Two

Read Part One II. Candor F.R.C.P. 26(g) has its own Rule-11-type signature provision for discovery requests, responses and objections. If the certification of truthfulness, completeness, and propriety in law and fact violates the rule “without substantial justification,” the court is required to impose “an appropriate sanction” on counsel, the represented party, or both. Additional requirements […]

Supreme Court of Tennessee Formal Opinion 2015-F-159 on lawyers’ use of cloud services

Board of Professional Responsibility of the Supreme Court of Tennessee   Topic: Lawyers’ use of cloud services   From the opinion A lawyer may ethically allow confidential client information to be stored in “the cloud” if the lawyer takes reasonable care to assure that: (1) all such information or materials remain confidential; and (2) reasonable […]

California issues Opinion 2015-193 on lawyers’ ethical duties in handling e-discovery

In Formal Opinion 2015-193 the State Bar of California Standing Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct (“California Ethics Committee” or “Committee”) discussed three of the duties applicable to attorneys involved in e-discovery: the duty of competency, the duty to supervise, and the duty of confidentiality. The Committee advised that the duty of competency required attorneys […]