Texting: Legal and Ethical Issues


CLE credits earned: 1 GENERAL or PROFESSIONALISM and 1 ETHICS (or 1 LAW & LEGAL and 1 ETHICS for WA state), 1.0 TECHNOLOGY / 1.0 ETHICS for FL, IL, and NC

Many attorneys who use common technology tools, such as e-mail and text messaging, often do not understand how using them may impact attorney-client privilege. It is important to be able to identify and implement best practices to reduce the risk of waiving the attorney-client privilege due to inadvertent disclosures of otherwise privileged information. Inadvertent disclosures have often led to unfavorable outcomes for clients and could lead to disciplinary action against attorneys who fail to exercise reasonable caution with respect to disclosures, especially in a discovery context. This presentation will help attorneys identify the three primary threats to attorney-client privilege posed by technology, and to improve their awareness of best practices for proactively and preventively addressing those threats. This presentation also provides valuable “DOs and DON’Ts” to help lawyers keep their use of text messaging professional.

This workshop is critical for attorneys so they can ensure their firm’s policies and procedures reflect best practices in the industry with respect to preventing inadvertent disclosures of privileged communications and documents—especially with respect to text messaging and similar technologies.

This course is co-sponsored by the Federal Bar Association.

Key topics to be discussed:

•   Privacy expectations clients should have and attorneys should meet (or exceed)
•   How attorneys can reduce the risk of inadvertent disclosures of privileged information
•   Three primary threats to attorney-client privilege related to technology
•   Criteria and tests courts use when evaluating whether attorney-client privilege has been waived

Date / Time: December 2, 2019

•   2:00 pm – 4:00 pm Eastern
•   1:00 pm – 3:00 pm Central
•   12:00 pm – 2:00 pm Mountain
•   11:00 am – 1:00 pm Pacific

Choose a format:

•   Live Video Broadcast/Re-Broadcast: Watch Program “live” in real-time, must sign-in and watch program on date and time set above. May ask questions during presentation via chat box. Qualifies for “live” CLE credit.
•   On-Demand Video: Access CLE 24/7 via on-demand library and watch program anytime. Qualifies for self-study CLE credit. On-demand versions are made available 7 business days after the original recording date and are view-able for up to one year.

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Select your state to see if this class is approved for CLE credit.

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Original Broadcast Date: July 30, 2019

Noel Bagwell, Esq. is President and Chief Legal Counsel of Executive Legal Professionals, PLLC (“ExecutiveLP®”), an innovative business law firm that emphasizes all aspects of preventive law for start-ups and entrepreneurs, especially in connection with business formation, outside general counsel, franchising, and small business mergers & acquisitions.

Noel also serves as the StartX-ups & Small Business Aspect of Practice Leader for the National Center for Preventive Law. He often leads seminars and workshops for attorneys, businesses, and entrepreneurs, and has authored several publications related to these areas of practice. Noel enjoys giving back to the community by speaking to veteran’s groups, such as the SBA’s Boots to Business workshop at Ft. Campbell, KY, about business formation legal issues and has earned multiple Attorney for Justice Awards for his pro-bono work.

2 Professionalism (for some states: 2 Ethics/Professionalism): AL, AZ, CT, HI, ID, IL, KS, ME, MN, MS, MO, MT, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OK, TN, TX, UT, VA, WI, WV
1 Professionalism and 1 Ethics: FL, GA, LA
1 General and 1 Ethics: AK, AR, CA, CO, DE, IA, IN, KY, ND, NV, OR, PA, RI, SC, VT, WA, WY

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Section I. Privacy (Business; Client Satisfaction)
a) Privacy expectations
b) Case studies / examples

Section II. Privacy (Ethics; Laws)
a) Understanding Relevant Aspects of Confidentiality and Attorney-Client Privilege
b) Keep It Professional and Classy: Texting “DOs and DON’Ts”
c) What Attorneys Should Know about How Privacy Laws Relate to Texting
d) California & Massachusetts: Regulatory Quirks
e) Case studies / examples

Section III. Complications & Risks
a) Attorneys’ Concurrent Personal and Professional Use of Devices
b) Hacking Risks

Section IV. Final Thoughts
a) Don’t Forget the Rules
b) Meeting and Exceeding Expectations