Friday, November 22, 2013

Learn more about choosing the right legal software

Interested in learning more about choosing the right legal software?  Our latest video might help:

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Is your firm in compliance with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Document Act (PIPEDA)?

Is your firm in compliance with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Document Act (PIPEDA)?  Never heard of it?  Well, if your computer data is stored in the Canadian province of British Columbia and subject to the provincial laws of British Columbia (as it is, of course, with Clio), you might want to find out!

While every state that has looked into cloud-computing has given it the O.K., this approval was not a carte blanche – but imposed the duty upon the attorney to do their due diligence into how and where that data was stored and how it was accessible.  See, e.g., Iowa State Bar ethics opinion 11-01.  This includes knowing how and where the data is stored.

Ironically, in summarizing the problem for Canadian lawyers, it was the Law Society of British Columbia that best stated the issue American lawyers using a foreign company face as well:

There are several problems with lawyers having their business records stored or processed outside British Columbia. Lawyers have a professional obligation to safeguard clients’ information to protect confidentiality and privilege. When a lawyer entrusts client information to a cloud provider the lawyer will often be subjecting clients’ information to a foreign legal system. The foreign laws may have lower thresholds of protection than Canadian law with respect to accessing information. A lawyer must understand the risks (legal, political, etc.) of having client data stored and processed in foreign jurisdictions.  Report of the Cloud Computing Working Group, The Law Society of British Columbia, pg. 8 (27 January 2012).

Online Legal Software maintains its primary and backup servers in the Midwestern United States.  We don’t play games with choice of law or venue selection clauses that force you to go to inconvenient (or foreign) courts.  The choice is clear.   

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Massachusetts opinion on attorney use of cloud computing

As we've said numerous times, attorneys concerned with the propriety of use of legal software have no reason to be concerned, at least according to every published opinion on the subject by the various state bars.

In one of the more recent opinions on the subject, Massachusetts weighed in.  Massachusetts Bar Association opinion 12-03 gave no direct guidance to Massachusetts attorneys, but did, as in other states, emphasize that the attorneys’ responsibility was to ensure their data was reasonably safe from unauthorized access, interception, and there was not an unreasonable risk of inadvertent disclosure; specifically, that the cloud provider kept the data secure, private, and prevented unauthorized access.

Online Legal Software understands the need to protect sensitive data and takes this responsibility as serious as you do.  We utilize bank-level security and encryption, unique user-passwords, and US-based servers and backup servers.  

Monday, November 4, 2013

Stay safe and secure on the web (and no, we're not talking about legal cloud computing)

Attorneys are rightly concerned about security and confidentiality, after all, it is one of the primary responsibilities we have towards our clients.

This concern often manifests itself in (usually unwarranted) concerns about the security of cloud providers, such as Online Legal Software.  We're happy to talk about the ways we keep your data safe and secure, but that's not main point of this article.

Because what we often see is that the same attorneys who are skeptical about legal software in the cloud have bad internet habits.  A useful post from Google (via Futurelawyer) summarized some of the basic rules on how to stay safe on the web.

You might laugh at some of them, but chances are there are a few things you aren't doing.  And that's risky.  Scammers are increasingly targeting lawyers, realizing that they often make easy marks.  Don't make their job easy and tempt fate by doing the digital equivalent of leaving your door unlocked and open.