Bar News - May 15, 2009
Ethics Committee: Senders, Recipients Cautioned on Metadata
The NHBA Ethics Committee has issued a formal ethics opinion (#2008-2009/4), “Review and Use of Metadata in Electronic Materials,” that provides guidance for both senders and receivers of electronic legal documents.
The Committee said that attorneys sending material “are ethically required to take reasonable care to avoid improper disclosure” of confidential material, while attorneys receiving electronic documents “have an ethical obligation not to search for, review, or use metadata containing confidential information” in material received from opposing counsel.
Bruce L. Dorner, a Londonderry attorney and national law technology speaker, has written an article on how to remove metadata from your documents.
A summary of the Ethics Opinion appears on page 26, along with Dorner’s article, reprinted with permission from Massachusetts Law Weekly. The entire Ethics Opinion is at www.nhbar.org under the Legal Links tab.