ABA Commission Looking at Impact of Technology on Client Confidentiality and Business Development

The ABA Ethics 20/20 Commission is holding hearings to explore the impact of technology on client confidences and lawyers’ use of the internet to develop business. The Commission invites interested persons to register now to testify at an Oct. 14 public hearing in Chicago. You may also make written submissions. See below for details on registering or making written submissions.

The commission has issued two issues papers identifying areas it expects to explore in oral testimony or written comment. One explores implications for client confidentiality raised by lawyers’ use of such technological tools as cloud computing, while the other raises issues created by lawyers’ use of the Internet for client development. Both papers are worth a read if you are interested in these issues. The papers raise questions and invite comment on whether the ABA should issue guidance to the legal profession on how to address these issues, and if so, whether the guidance should be in the form of a white paper or should instead be through amending its policies, such as its Model Rules of Professional Conduct.

The hearing will be 2 to 5 p.m. Oct. 14 in the Board Rooms of the American Bar Association headquarters at 321 N. Clark St., Chicago. Each witness will be limited to 5-minute presentations, and commissioners will have up to an additional five minutes to ask questions. Persons wishing to testify at the hearing should contact Kimley Grant at grantk@staff.abaneet.org or at 312/988-5319 no later than Oct. 4, providing an outline of their anticipated remarks with citations to relevant resources. Individuals unable to testify in person still are welcome to file written comment no later than Dec. 15. Written comment should be submitted to Natalia Vera at veran@staff.abanet.org. Outlines or written comment may also be submitted to Ms. Grant by U.S. mail to the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility, 15th Floor, 321 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60654

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