Confidentiality: A Responsibility of Legal Staff

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Confidentiality: A Responsibility of Legal Staff

  1. 1. Confidentiality: A Responsibility of Legal Staff
  2. 2. Which of the Following Helps Maintain Confidentiality
  3. 3. A: Making sure your friends promise to keep a secret before telling them about a case.
  4. 4. B: Positioning your computer screen so it cannot be seen by clients.
  5. 5. C: Assuring an impatient client who has been waiting in the reception area that his attorney will have his divorce papers ready when he goes in.
  6. 6. D: Removing files from your desk once work is completed.
  7. 7. Why is Confidentiality So Important?
  8. 8. Consider the Consequences… • Embarrassment • Damage to the client’s business • Damage to the client’s personal life • Damage to the lawyer’s reputation • Loss of trust • Loss of future business
  9. 9. Who Pays the Price? 1. Lawyer or firm may be sued 2. Lawyer may be disciplined 3. Negligent employee may be fired … it could be you
  10. 10. Follow the “No Exceptions” Rule
  11. 11. He Said What!
  12. 12. Do You Take Work Home?
  13. 13. Talk on a Cell Phone?
  14. 14. Work Remotely? + Unencrypted + No firewalls + Unsecured WiFi = Breach of Confidentiality
  15. 15. What Ifs? 1. The Client’s Uncle Cletus 2. Special Agent Jones 3. Lawyer Smith 4. Aunt Sophie
  16. 16. Clean Reception Area • Papers waiting to be signed • Mail • Faxes • Unsecured files?
  17. 17. Clean Computer Screen It is alleged Jones was caught sleeping with..
  18. 18. Clean Desk or Conference Room
  19. 19. Isn’t Sharing a Good Thing?
  20. 20. E-Mail & Fax 1. Verify 2. Test fax or e-mail greeting 3. Slow down! 4. Engagement letter? 5. Understand auto-complete 6. Resist “Reply to All”
  21. 21. Metadata
  22. 22. Always Inspect Copy Document First Office Button Prepare Inspect Document
  23. 23. Invoke Warnings
  24. 24. Best Practices Individual Documents in Acrobat Document > Examine Document… All Documents In Acrobat Edit > Preferences > Document > Examine Document  When closing document  When sending document by e-mail
  25. 25. Use Acrobat to Redact
  26. 26. Destruction • Shred paper • Wipe hard drives www.dban.com • Properly dispose of electronics http://www.abanet.org/tech/ltrc/fyidocs/
  27. 27. Confidentiality Agreements Permanent Staff Temporary Staff Outside Vendors
  28. 28. Remember the Consequences… • Embarrassment • Damage to the client’s business • Damage to the client’s personal life • Damage to the lawyer’s reputation • Loss of trust • Loss of future business
  29. 29. … And Always Practice
  30. 30. www.osbar.org Rules – Opinions – Advice – Bar Counsel Article Archive www.osbplf.org Books – Forms – CLE - Consultations Beverly Michaelis - Practice Management Advisor beverlym@osbplf.org http://www.linkedin.com/in/beverlymichaelis 503-639-6911 or 800-452-1639 http://twitter.com/OreLawPracMgmt

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