Start 2015 with a review of all of your advertising materials to make sure that they are in compliance with the revised Rule 7.2 which became effective in March 2014. The most common problem we’ve seen is the failure to include the lawyer or firm’s address in advertising. Please be aware that the requirements of Rule 7.2 apply to all media—billboards, print ads, television and radio, websites, etc. As there has been ample time for everyone to bring their advertising into compliance, please don’t make us have to tell you that yours needs changing.
Over 700 data breaches have occurred in 2014 according to the ID Theft Center. See http://www.idtheftcenter.org/images/breach/DataBreachReports_2014.pdf Of course, the numbers are most likely higher because of the probability that some breaches went undisclosed and/or unreported. So, what does this have to do with Georgia lawyers? Well, as we have been telling lawyers in CLEs for the past few years now, it is vitally important to protect your business and your Bar license by making sure you are not inadvertently disclosing confidential client information. Data security and protection has been one of the top items being dealt with by members seeking resources from the Law Practice Management Program, and in 2015 we want to make sure you have what you need to protect yourself and your practice. Contact the program for specific material and information on data security for your firm.
Cloud computing for lawyers is hot! And even with the damper that sometimes comes with the knowledge about security concerns online (see above on data breaches), many firms are finding that the benefits outweigh the risks when it comes to using the power (and the space) of the Internet to store and manage documents (think Dropbox, Box, eVault, Google Drive, Mozy, Carbonite, and other online services for back up and document handling) from wherever there is Internet access. The mobility revolution has made it possible to work from almost anywhere and the cloud delivering up solutions to get at a lawyer’s entire firm’s information and system seems to be catching on quickly. Think about how many lawyers you know are looking for ways to minimize their computer and computer consulting costs. The cloud services providers are delivering options that are getting more and more robust, and suitable for the daily work of law firms. Yes, Virginia, this means you might be able to use that office back closet from something other than the server room now!
If you do decide to take advantage of the benefits of cloud storage, PLEASE also take advantage of LPM’s resources on security. Also, it is a wise practice for you to inform your clients about how you will store their information. Some may appreciate the convenience of access to their files, while others may strongly object. If there is a breach, you will at least be able to show that your clients were aware of your use of cloud storage.
Happy Holidays from Tina and Natalie!