Last month, Mode5’s President Luke Downing was invited by the Richmond Association for Legal Administrators to talk about the benefits and risks of Cloud Computing. Law Firms have some unique requirements as set for the by the American Bar Association and it is important for Law Firms to understand them. Even, if you are not a law firm, the common sense recommendations set forth by the ABA are good steps to follow. What ABA rules did we cover during our presentation?
Below are some excerpts from applicable model rules as set forth by the ABA:
Competency Model Rule 1.1 and Diligence Model Rule 1.3 - “a lawyer shall provide competent representation to a client. Competent representation requires the legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness and preparation reasonably necessary for the representation.”
Be prepared to represent your clients. If your computer and network is one of the primary tools you need to complete you work, make sure they are updated and available when you need them.
Model Rule 1.6 – “[a] lawyer must act competently to safeguard information relating to the representation of a client against inadvertent or unauthorized disclosure by the lawyer or other persons who are participating in the representation of the client or who are under the lawyer’s supervision.”
Make sure your cloud provider is securing your data and your clients' data.
Model Rule 5.3 - “…shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that the firm has in effect measures giving reasonable assurance that the persons conduct is compatible with the professional obligations of the lawyer.”
Do your homework to make sure that any cloud provider you work with understands the level of security and privacy you need to fulfill the obligations you have to your client.
None of these model rules specifically mention cloud computing vendors. However, the general idea is that you must prepared to provide competent services (have a functioning and secured computer platform), you will make sure that your vendors secure your data and don’t disclose it (maintain security), and you will makes sure your vendors don’t violate any obligations you have to your clients (maintain up time, security, and act with integrity).
Have questions about how your business can move to the Cloud? Contact us at 888.25.MODE5.