Ethics Opinions

Opinion 12-03

Summary: A lawyer generally may store and synchronize electronic work files containing confidential client information across different platforms and devices using an Internet based storage solution, such as "Google docs," so long as the lawyer undertakes reasonable efforts to ensure that the provider's terms of use and data privacy policies, practices and procedures are compatible with the lawyer's professional obligations, including the obligation to protect confidential client information reflected in Rule 1.6(a). A lawyer remains bound, however, to follow an express instruction from his or her client that the client's confidential information not be stored or transmitted by means of the Internet, and all lawyers should refrain from storing or transmitting particularly sensitive client information by means of the Internet without first obtaining the client's express consent to do so.

Opinion 12-02

Summary: When a suit to recover damages for personal injuries incurred on tribal lands in State X is contemplated, the ethics rules governing a contingent fee agreement between a Massachusetts attorney and her Massachusetts client are those of State X or the tribal court in State X and not the Massachusetts Rules of Professional Conduct.

Opinion 12-01

Summary: The conduct of an out-of-state attorney who deliberately misrepresented that he was representing a client in order to induce Lawyer's client to settle a matter falls within the requirement of Rule 8.3(a) mandating that Lawyer report the conduct to Bar Counsel of the Board of Bar Overseers. On the facts of this inquiry, however, the Lawyer's information is protected by Rule 1.6, and therefore under Rule 8.3(c) Lawyer needs client consent to make such a report.

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