On May 11, 2017, The American Bar Association (ABA) updated its 1999 opinion regarding lawyers’ use of email for communication. Although many state bar associations have issued opinions on electronic communications and the use of cloud computing services, the ABA has now provided clear guidance for lawyers on their ethical responsibilities of competence, confidentiality and communication in an electronic age.

Formal Opinion 477, “Securing Communication of Protected Client Information,” which is considered a professional rule of conduct for attorneys, provides that attorneys must take “reasonable measures” to keep client information safe from cyber threats. This means that lawyers must implement basic and reasonable electronic security methods in communicating via email.

The text of the Preamble, which is the crux of the opinion, states:
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