Text messaging has become a mainstream form of communication. Clients now routinely text their lawyers about pending matters. They may ask about the status of a case, provide facts about a case, communicate decisions to a lawyer, or message other sensitive information. These messages are often to a lawyer’s mobile phone that is used extensively for personal purposes, unsecured in their transmissions, and easily accessible by third parties. This new wave of lawyer-client communication raises many difficult ethical questions, including preservation of the attorney-client privilege. This program will provide you with a guide to the major ethics issues when lawyers and their clients’ text message about pending matters.
Handout Materials will be emailed to you prior to the seminar
Starts 12:00 p.m.
1.0, including one hour of ethics MCLE Credit Hours
· Confidentiality issues involving unsecured transmission of texts involving sensitive case issues
· How to handle mobile phones used for both personal purposes and law practice
· Potential loss of the attorney-client privilege when text messages are accessible by third parties
· Tension among the duties of competence, prudence and to communicate with clients
· Understanding the ethical risks and counseling clients about the risks to their case when texting
Thomas E. Spahn, McGuireWoods, LLP – McLean, Virginia
Brian S. Faughnan, Lewis Thomason, PC – Memphis