Legal Ethics & the Risk of Mishandling Electronic Evidence (Update)
Created on August 27, 2018
A great deal of the information underlying the modern commercial and legal marketplace is electronic. Consequently, potential evidence can be found on an increasingly wide array of devices and storage systems. Whether it's computer drives produced by (or to) an adversary/third party or critical investigative material found on your own company or firm network, mishandling it can lead to a number of problems. Mistakes can lead to accidental data breaches and the inadvertent disclosure of privileged materials. Improperly accessed data can also alter underlying evidence, potentially rendering it inadmissible. Ultimately, attorneys can be held responsible when this information is mishandled.
The American Bar Association's Model Rules of Professional Conduct were amended in 2012 to address the increasing use of technology in legal practice and the ongoing need to safeguard client and firm data. Attorney and information security consultant Scott Aurnou discusses the amended Rules and the fundamental steps needed to comply with them, including measures to secure confidential client and e-discovery information. He will provide an overview of how electronic data is stored, outline the forensic investigative process and highlight steps needed to mitigate computer forensic errors, and the overall risk of mishandling electronic evidence.
- Identify essential ethical obligations under the ABA Model Rules related to technology and attorney competence, data confidentiality and the use of outside services
- Address the relevant basics regarding data storage
- Break down the computer forensic process
- Recognize potential errors to avoid when handling electronic evidence
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