Zix Blog

Enhanced Data Security Measures in the Legal Community: Q&A with Zix Expert Jim Brashear

Mon, 03/31/2014 - 17:20 by ZixCorp
Two recent New York Times articles sparked an interesting discussion in the legal community about data security measures at law firms. One article, Spying By N.S.A. Ally Entangled U.S. Law Firm , describes how government surveillance is capturing attorney-client email communications. The other article in Dealbook, Law Firms Are Pressed On Security for Data , describes how clients are demanding their lawyers step up their data security measures. Attorney data security is a topic near and dear to the heart of our General Counsel Jim Brashear. Jim has invested many hours writing articles,...
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Boilerplate Confidentiality Notices in Email - Why Bother?

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 16:18 by Jim Brashear
Recent conversations on the Association of Corporate Counsel message boards have considered whether there is any value in appending to emails an automated notice to the effect that the contents may be confidential or privileged. Law firms typically include those notices at the bottom of emails. Here's a typical example: This electronic message is confidential and is intended only for the use of the individual to whom it is addressed. The information may also be legally privileged. This transmission is sent in trust, for the sole purpose of delivery to the intended recipient. If you have...
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ABA: Lawyers Must Implement Reasonable Data Security for Client Information

Tue, 08/07/2012 - 22:30 by Jim Brashear
This week, the American Bar Association (ABA) House of Delegates adopted changes to Model Rule 1.6 of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct. New subsection (c) adds the following sentence to the model rule: “A lawyer shall make reasonable efforts to prevent the inadvertent disclosure of, or unauthorized access to, information relating to the representation of a client.” In comments to the revised model rule, the ABA provides a non-exclusive list of factors to be considered in determining the reasonableness of the lawyer’s data security efforts. They include: •the sensitivity of the...
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Lawyer Use of Cloud Services, Part 2 – Reasonable Steps to Protect Confidentiality and Privacy

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 16:45 by Jim Brashear
Part one of our discussion of the evolving ethics rules about lawyers’ use of Cloud services covered Massachusetts State Bar Opinion 12-03 (May 2012). In part two, I’d like to explore steps lawyers should consider in light of the Massachusetts Bar Association Opinion. Risk of Interception and Reasonable Preventative Measures The Massachusetts Bar Association acknowledges in Opinion 12-03 that the use of Cloud services involves "a small, but genuine risk of unauthorized access or interception." It cites Opinion 00-1 (1998) which notes that email also carry some risk of interception. Opinion 00...
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Lawyer Use of Cloud Services Versus Email - An Ethical Distinction Without a Practical Difference

Thu, 07/12/2012 - 11:00 by Jim Brashear
In earlier Legal Industry Series posts, we've examined the evolving ethics rules concerning lawyers' duty to protect the confidentiality of client information transmitted via the internet or stored in the "Cloud." In August 2012, the American Bar Association delegates will consider amendments to Model Rule 1.6 that would clarify the lawyers' responsibilities to take reasonable steps to protect electronic information related to the representation of a client. In the meantime, let's examine recent guidance from the Massachusetts Bar Association. Massachusetts Bar Association Opinion 12-03 On...
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Guest Article on Attorneyatwork.com

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 14:45 by ZixCorp
Our very own Jim Brashear contributed an article for the Daily Dispatch via www.attorneyatwork.com . Titled "Sensitive Email? Things to Know Before Hitting Send," Jim covers the top five things lawyers need to consider before emailing sensitive information. Read the full article here . For more information on privacy laws and email encryption for lawyers, register for the free webinar Raising the Bar on Client Email Confidentiality , Thursday, May 3, 2012, at 2 p.m. ET.
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Recent State Bar Opinion Offers Law Firms Guidance on Cloud Data Security

Tue, 03/13/2012 - 14:48 by Jim Brashear
With the American Bar Association (ABA) TECHSHOW coming up later this month in Chicago, it’s an opportune time to review a recent state bar opinion regarding law firms’ use of cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). Because our ZixCorp Email Encryption Services are SaaS security solutions for Web-based email, this subject is near and dear to me. In late January, the North Carolina State Bar published 2011 Formal Ethics Opinion 6 : Subscribing to Software as a Service While Fulfilling the Duties of Confidentiality and Preservation of Client Property . The opinion cites the state’s ethics...
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SEC Cyber Security Disclosure Guidance

Mon, 10/31/2011 - 15:40 by ZixCorp
Our very own Jim Brashear , General Counsel for ZixCorp, published a guest post for Peter Vogel's Internet, Information Technology and e-Discovery Blog . Jim reviews the SEC's recent disclosure guidance regarding cyber security risks. He also offers a list of five questions to assist public companies in navigating next steps. Interested in the topic? Click here .
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Legal Industry Series, Part 3: “Reasonable” Steps to Prevent Disclosure

Tue, 10/18/2011 - 16:41 by Jim Brashear
In this legal series, we reviewed the new ABA opinion describing a lawyer's “Duty to Protect the Confidentiality of Email Communications with One's Client” and how email encryption is becoming a legal benchmark for secure client communication . With this foundation in place, let’s move into the factors that lawyers should consider in determining what data security measures are reasonable in the circumstances in order to prevent inadvertent disclosure or interception of client information. Federal Trade Commission Guidance on Reasonable Data Security The United States Federal Trade Commission...
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Legal Industry Series, Part 2: Legal Ethics and Technological Changes

Thu, 09/08/2011 - 18:36 by Jim Brashear
In Part 1 of this series, we discussed recently-issued American Bar Association (ABA) Formal Opinion 11-459 , describing a lawyer's “Duty to Protect the Confidentiality of Email Communications with One's Client.” We examined ethical guidelines about steps lawyers must take to address the risk that third parties may obtain access to attorney-client email communications. We concluded by noting that ABA Proposed Model Rule 1.6(c) would clarify that a lawyer has an ethical duty to take reasonable measures to protect a client’s confidential information from inadvertent disclosure and unauthorized...
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