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Not so long ago, locking up paper files was sufficient to satisfy compliance with ABA Model Rule of Professional Conduct 1.15 (safeguarding client property). It is a whole new world today. In an attempt to address how lawyers should be evaluating the threats to their practice and its data, the ABA released two very significant ethical opinions: Formal Opinion 483: Lawyers’ Obligations After an Electronic Data Breach or Cyberattack (October 17, 2018); and, Formal Opinion 482: Ethical Obligations Related to Disasters (September 19, 2018).

Disasters and data breaches bring with them conflicting priorities to resolve. Duties of disclosure compete for lawyers' attention with those of confidentiality. The responsibility to provide legal services may be adversely affected by disaster. Model Rules 1.4 and 1.6 provide the standards and the recent ABA opinions flesh out ethical duties in the event of a disaster (natural or man-made) or a data breach.

Join Lucian Pera for an ABA webinar and CLE program on June 17, "Headless Chickens and Zombie Data: Your Ethical Obligations for Disasters and Data Breaches," a panel discussion guiding attendees through these opinions with practical examples of how best to ensure lawyers and their clients are best protected in the face of this new world.