Monday, January 21, 2013

Are there any Texas ethical opinions on cloud-computing?

Texas has not issued any opinions specifically dealing with cloud computing; however, the Professional Ethics Committee of the state has issued certain opinions that raise parallels to the subject and support its propriety.

Opinion Number 572 (2006), deals with the duty of an attorney using an independent copy service.  Although cloud-computing raises additional issues not raised in the mere copying of documents; the basic premise is similar – in both, the attorney is outsourcing certain tasks to outside providers, not directly controlled by the attorney, who may then come into contact with confidential information.

The Committee held that unless the attorney’s client specifically instructed otherwise, there was no issue raised by using outside vendors, so long as the attorney “reasonably expects” the vendor will keep the materials confidential.  The best way to ensure this, says the Committee, is a written agreement wherein the vendor agrees to keep the materials confidential.

Online Legal Software, of course, has such an agreement.  In addition, we maintain your data in US-based primary and backup servers with bank-level encryption.  You can reasonably expect us to keep your data secure and confidential.

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