Intro How close to the line can I get without crossing it? Dilemma with ethics is that there is no clear answer. How do ethics apply to lawyers? RISK – whenever we deal with ethical issues we are talking about risk to lawyers, clients, and in some cases, the court. RISK │ JUDGMENT Some rules are mandatory, others are permissive. Morally correct ≠ ethically correct Rule 1.7 – Conflict of interest 39 pgs of comments to help explain how to apply the (short) rule – shows grayness GM Cases What do lawyers owe to the company? How does that clash with ethics rules? Social Media Social media creates a setting for ex parte communications (w/o other side present) Why social media is troublesome: 1 Sheer volume of information/communication 2 Ease of dissemination of information 3 Lack of understanding, by the attorney sending the information, about how the technology works Competence & Confidentiality – what attorneys owe to their clients Confidentiality may be breached even if no concrete names/information is revealed but the information given if specific enough for facts to be assumed Communicating w/ a representative party – R 4.2 – prohibits communication by you, as an attorney, w/ a represented party Ex: Facebook – what is prohibited Misrepresenting who you are on FB in order to gain information about a represented party When a party is represented, whether or not you are truthful in your representation (like honestly having same alma matter) does not matter if it makes you seem like anyone other than an attorney If someone is un represented (e.g. witness) then you may communicate with them as a non-attorney, as long as the representation is truthful Inadvertent client-attorney relationship – by giving legal advice you risk creating inadvertent relationship and violating R 1.18 (rules surrounding prospective clients) Ex: Blog : If you are having a communication on a legal issue blog with a person, you need to be careful that this advice does not create inadvertent client relationship
The Cloud Confidentiality (R 1.6) – documents stored virtually, over internet – Are they really confidential? Considerations when choosing/using Cloud for doc storage: 1 Only use established Cloud providers (use due diligence to verify vendor) 2 Read, digest, and understand the contract with chosen vendor How frequently will docs be backed up? Where is it located? Is there 24/7 access (docs need to be accessible at all times)? What is the level of security? – Hacking into confidential documents is detrimental – If cloud is hacked, what is the notification process if hacked? Encryption – suggested, not required 3 Make sure client knows and understands that their data is in the cloud in virtual form Togstad v. Vesely, Otto, Miller & Keefe (1980) Topic: Inadvertent Client, Brendan Rule Lawyer (Miller) told Togstad she had no med mal case w/o giving due diligence to facts and not notifying Togstad of SOL. After SOL expired, Togstad found out she might have had a case.
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- Spring '14
- Law, criminal law, Lawyer, Confidentiality, attorney, Attorney-client privilege