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ABA Formal Opinion Makes Protecting Electronic Client Communications a Priority—And So Should You

As lawyers, we have an ethical duty to ensure privacy for client communications. Technology hasn’t changed this, but there have been recent questions as to what steps lawyers should be expected to take to protect electronic communications. To address these issues, the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility recently released Formal Opinion 477, an update to Formal Opinion 99-413, which discusses how changes in technology use coincide with Rule 1.6 concerning client confidences.

While the opinion doesn’t set any bright line rules, it makes it clear that lawyers need to consider the privacy measures they are taking to protect sensitive client information. For example, encryption used to be optional because it was previously thought that lawyers had a “reasonable expectation of privacy” regarding email communications. Now, we all know that is no longer the case. Encryption should be considered after weighing factors such as the sensitivity of the information and the difficulty of putting safeguards in place. Additionally, the opinion emphasizes that lawyers have a duty to communicate with clients about the nature of electronic communications being used.

Even before the ABA Opinion was issued, we at Zola knew that lawyers need to have the best technological security measures in place to uphold the duties they owe their clients, to ensure continued client confidence, and to protect their reputation for always keeping their clients’ best interests in mind. That is why Zola Suite makes it easier than ever to securely communicate with your clients. Zola Suite users have multiple ways to let your clients know that their privacy and security is your priority.

Caseway™ and Caseway Mobile™ Client Portal

Caseway, Zola Suite’s secure, integrated client portal uses 256-bit, bank level encryption and allows you to share documents, invoices and other vital information online with your clients and other interested parties.

And if you want to take Caseway to the next level, Zola Suite subscribers have exclusive access to Caseway Mobile, a custom, encrypted portal which allows your clients to share privileged information with you from their mobile device. As a native iOS and Android mobile app, it has never been easier for your clients to securely send you information while on the go. With bank level encryption, and touch id authentication, you and your clients won’t have to sacrifice security for ease of use and mobility.

RPost Integration

With Zola’s exclusive RPost integration, Zola Suite also allows for:

  • Email encryption
  • Email open tracking
  • Certified e-delivery proof
  • E-signatures

These security features are seamlessly built into Zola Suite. Send an encrypted email with a click of a button, save it in the associated client matter file and the email along with a court admissible Registered Email™ receipt will all appear in the Communications tab of the matter.

Technological security is critical and it doesn’t need to be complicated. Zola Suite offers next generation secure electronic communications without clunky workarounds; something you and your clients can all appreciate.

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