What does it mean to make “Reasonable Efforts” to safeguard your client’s data?
In 2009, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) first warned that law firms were the targets of hackers. The agency repeated the warning in 2013 with the special agent in charge of cyber and special operations for the FBI’s New York Office saying, “We have hundreds of law firms that we see increasingly being targeted by hackers.”
This should not come as a surprise. Law firms have a wide range of types of valuable information from the identities of targets of takeovers to corporate financial information to trade secrets to embarrassing details of the lives of client. There is a ready and eager market for this information, and it easily can end up in the hands of unscrupulous opposing counsel, business competitors or a foreign competitor.
Further, there are now a number of ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct that speak to a lawyer’s ethical cybersecurity duty. Under the Model Rules lawyer are required “to make reasonable efforts to prevent the inadvertent or unauthorized disclosure of, or unauthorized access to, information relating to the representation of a client.” Model Rule 1.6(c)…..Read more