Professional Ethics Committee Approves Digital Property Opinion

Professional Ethics Committee Approves Digital Property Opinion

A new ethics opinion provides additional guidance regarding the extent of lawyers’ obligations to safeguard digital property under MRPC 1.15(d).

The State Bar’s Professional Ethics Committee opinion emphasizes the importance of protecting digital assets entrusted to attorneys and finds that the responsibility to safeguard digital property is equivalent to any other property. While acknowledging the complexities of digital assets, the opinion also clarifies that an attorney’s obligation is to safeguard the native format of digital property. For instance, an attorney must safeguard a USB drive, but the attorney is not obligated to update the file or format of the data it contains.

The opinion outlines multiple scenarios regarding digital property and provides clarity on requirements for cloud-based digital property, password protection, and means of access for digital property.

Click here to read the entire Digital Property opinion.

Posted: June 22, 2023