The dawn of the information age has changed life as we know it. Our personal lives and businesses have been affected, and the practice of law is no exception. The ABA House of Delegates’ Ethics 20/20 Commission met in August to decide how best to advise attorneys of their ethical obligations in the global marketplace. The top ten issues addressed by the House of Delegates were:
- Protecting client information in electronic communications;
- Cloud storage and properly safeguarding protected client information;
- How to set up an ethical screen for a new attorney with a shared electronic network;
- The importance of competency in a multi-jurisdictional practice;
- How attorneys who frequently change jurisdictions can practice law without undergoing rigorous admittance procedures;
- Outsourcing to other lawyers and non-lawyers, and potential hazards;
- What types of online behaviors could potentially create an attorney-client relationship (including social media, communications on law firm websites, etc.);
- The ethical propriety of advertising on the internet, and whether pay-per-click ads constitute improper referral services;
- The importance of competency in technology, including some understanding of electronically stored information; and
- Advising clients on technology, such as maintaining electronically stored information.
The American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct are intended to provide guidance to the states, and to encourage adoption of a standard procedure throughout the country for attorney regulation and discipline. However, although resolutions on the above topics were passed by the ABA, they are not binding on Colorado attorneys absent amendments to the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct.
Join us at CBA-CLE on Wednesday, September 12, for a breakfast seminar where Troy Rackham, a representative of the House of Delegates, and Alec Rothrock, from the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct committee, will present on the changes adopted by the ABA and what this means for attorneys in Colorado.