The Risks of Auto-Reply Messages

One of the consequences of modern technological advances is that many expect 24/7 access to their employees and outside professionals. Today there is really no such thing as unreachable and there are fewer and fewer locales that are “off the grid.” 48 hours without responding to e-mail is not acceptable to some. As a result, when business travel, vacation, or other events preclude timely e-mail responses, many employees and professionals utilize the all-too-familiar auto-reply message. However, some experts suggest that these messages carry considerable security risks.
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Inadvertent E-Discovery Disclosure Leads to Sanctions

Document production is often an arduous task made more so by e-discovery requirements. Electronically stored data results in exponentially more complicated, time-consuming and expensive discovery. Many law firms have protocols to efficiently handle e-discovery or they work with a vendor to lend a hand. However, recent decisions suggest that courts have heightened expectations and are less likely to overlook mistakes by firms who handle sensitive data. A recent decision out of California serves as a reminder that failure to follow reasonable e-discovery standards may result in sanctions.
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Virtual Offices may Violate Ethics Rules

Recent technological advances have made it relatively easy for professionals to maintain a virtual office. A wireless connection may be all that is needed to practice, without the stress of lease payments, utilities, commuting expenses and other costs. Some attorneys have taken advantage of technology to maintain out-of-state offices in order to appeal to a larger client base. But, despite the various temptations to utilize a virtual office, there are serious risks of doing so.
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