Adams and Reese Partner Lucian Pera, in the firm’s Memphis office, was interviewed in a Law360 article, “5 Steps to Take When Your Firm is Hacked,” discussing how hackers can attack law firms on the Internet because they are an enticing targets with the personal and corporate data they hold.
Law firms differ from other industries in that they hold privileged client data that they are bound by ethics rules and professional duties to protect. “Attorneys have a set of ethics rules and a fiduciary duty to their clients that are far stronger than most data breach laws,” Pera said.
Under the American Bar Association Model Rule of Professional Conduct 1.4, attorneys are required to keep clients “reasonably informed” about any material developments in their case, an obligation that could easily apply to the unauthorized disclosure of client data. Pera added: “If some of the client’s private confidential information has been released into the world, that seems like a pretty material development in their representation.” Even if the ethics rules didn’t exist, Pera said, attorneys still have a fiduciary duty to clients that requires them to be candid about these issues.
At Adams and Reese, Pera focuses his practice on commercial litigation, legal ethics and lawyer professional responsibility work, and media law. Pera writes and speaks frequently, both nationally and in Tennessee, on legal ethics and professional responsibility and media law, and conducts presentations and seminars for national audiences.
Pera serves as Treasurer of the American Bar Association, and has a long record of service to the profession having served on the ABA Board of Governors, in the ABA House of Delegates, and as a member of the Ethics 2000 Commission that revised the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, which are now the model for the lawyer ethics rules in virtually every American jurisdiction. Pera also formerly chaired the ABA Board of Governors Finance Committee and the ABA Standing Committee on Technology and Information Systems, and has been a member of the ABA House of Delegates, primarily representing the Tennessee Bar Association, for all but three years since 1991.