Legal Ethics in the Era of Social-Media, BYOD, “the Cloud,” Data Breaches and eDiscovery

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Course Description

This program was recorded on November 12th, 2018

In our data-driven and threat-filled world, companies - and thus their counsel - bear increased responsibilities to protect sensitive information and not to overstep access boundaries. With law firms a prime target of hackers, now more than ever attorneys must be more vigilant than ever. States’ bars and bar associations as well as the judiciary keep sprinting to issue opinions to keep up with rapidly changing technologies. This topic will drill down on some of the key modern ethical obligations placed on lawyers both day-to-day and in litigation. Learn the do’s and don’ts of many "hot topics," including: social media ethics concerns as to opposing parties, witnesses, jurors and judges; the interplay between no-employee-privacy BYOD policies and individual workers' potential attorney-client privilege rights; reasonable care obligations as to outsourced data storage and email transmissions; and increased eDiscovery competency expectations.



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  • Robert D. Brownstone
    Robert D. Brownstone has been an attorney for over 30 years. He is also a long-term technologist, thought leader and law school adjunct professor. For almost 20 years, Robert has practiced at Silicon-Valley-based Fenwick & West LLP, where he been the Technology & eDiscovery Counsel and Electronic-Information-Management (EIM) Group Chair since 2011. Working out of the firm’s San Francisco, New York and Silicon Valley Center offices, Robert advises clients and colleagues on electronic-discovery, information-security, data-privacy (including GDPR), retention-destruction policies and social-media risks and rewards. Since 2002, he has been a nationwide advisor, conference-chair, speaker, writer and press resource on many electronic information topics. Over the past decade, Robert has taught more than ten Electronic Discovery Law & Process courses at four law schools around the country.

    Contact Robert D. Brownstone

      • 2 Ethics Credits
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    1. Social-Media Ethics – Do’s and Don’ts for:
      1. Lawyers
        1. Advertising/Solicitation
        2. No Online Legal Advice
        3. Disclaimers
        4. Preservation/Spoliation by Client
        5. Communicating with, and Researching Adversary Litigants, Witnesses & Jurors
      2. Jurors Themselves
        1. Posts, and Research
      3. Judges
        1. Own Activity
        2. Connecting with (or Friending) Lawyers
    2. Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD), Company-Owned-Personally-Enabled (COPE) & Webmail
      1. Invasion as a Liability Issue
      2. (Ex-)Employee’s own Attorney-Client Privilege
      3. eDiscovery rock and hard-place
    3. Overall Data-Security in our “Cloud” Era
      1. Ethical Duties of Confidentiality/Competence
      2. Mobility/Travel Tips
      3. Various Measures
      4. Email Concerns
      5. Cloud per se
      6. Reasonable care (due diligence)
      7. Duty of Supervision
      8. Practical data security tips re Cloud
      9. Information-Management and Litigation-Prep
    4. Electronic Discovery (eDiscovery)
      1. Competence now an Ethical Duty
      2. Avoiding Waiver of Attorney-Client Privilege and Attorney Work-Product Protection
      3. FRCP ESI changes 12/1/15

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