Maine Lawyers May Use Third Party [Cloud] Services to Process and Store Electronic Files

July 24, 2012 in Cloud, Confidentiality, Electronic Files, Maine by PeterK

Main lawyers may store and synchronize electronic work files containing confidential client information. Maine Ethics Opinion #194 (June 30, 2008).  Processing of firm data may include transcription of voice recordings and transfer of firm computer files to an off-site “back-up” of the firm’s electronically held data.

At a minimum, the lawyer should take steps to ensure that the company providing confidential data storage has a legally enforceable obligation to maintain the confidentiality of the client data involved. With the pervasive and changing use of evolving technology in communication and other aspects of legal practice, particular safeguards which might constitute reasonable efforts in a specific context today may be outdated in a different context tomorrow. Therefore, rather than attempting to delineate acceptable and unacceptable practices, the opinion outline guidance for the lawyer to consider in determining when professional obligations are satisfied.