ABA Issues New Formal Opinion on Electronic Information Safety

American Bar Association pic

American Bar Association
Image: americanbar.org

Since 2006 Lisa M. Nousek has served as partner at Boies, Schiller & Flexner, LLP, where she litigates state, federal, and appellate cases. An accomplished attorney, she was recognized as Super Lawyer’s Rising Star in the New York Metro area in 2013. Additionally, Lisa M. Nousek is a member of the American Bar Association.

The American Bar Association recently released an official document that further elaborates on best practices regarding client confidentiality when sending and receiving information via electronic avenues. The document, Formal Opinion 477, was developed in light of new advances in information technology and the ways in which information is shared. It is an expansion of Formal Opinion 99-413, released nearly two decades ago.

According to FO 477, every instance of stored client information on a device or online creates an ethical impetus on the attorney to protect the confidentiality of that information. The guidance offers lawyers practical steps to securing this information. Additionally, it recommends informing clients of the risks involved in transmitting information electronically to their attorney.