When Law Firms are on the hook

A recent case was brought to my attention that is noteworthy.  An article published by James Kurz “Failure to use basic protections when transferring electronic files results in waiver of privilege” highlights the criticality in not underestimating risk exposure to law firms.  What would normally be construed as almost “bullet-proof” methods for discussing a case under the banner of attorney-client privilege is coming under scrutiny when less than professional methods for protecting a client come into play.

When reviewing a checklist by the ABA, it is almost comical if not frightening, that the legal profession has such a low level understanding of what needs to be protected and how to do so.  Back when the Panama Papers  took place, I would have thought for sure, our phones would ring off the hook. Actually, quite the opposite. When engaging with law firms afterwards the general response was, “We are good.  Our IT guy installed a firewall years ago”.  Now as an American, you can make an argument “Hey, that’s Panama”.  When you have a hubris that is so pronounced, even in the United States, the next time you engage an attorney you may want to ask the following:

  • Years of experience?
  • Handle cases like mine before?
  • Percentage of cases with favorable ruling?
  • How do you protect my information?
  • Are there unique capabilities your firm will enable when electronically communicating with me (encryption, etc.)?

HEMISPHERE specializes in identifying what actually causes cyber risk and can support law firm’s best interests in the United States or abroad.

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