Edward Snowden's disclosures of this past summer have brought to light an untold number of National Security Agency practices (the details of which remain scant) and serve as a reminder that email, by its nature, passes through multiple points of potential compromise and interception. American Bar Association Model Rule 1.1 requires an attorney to provide competent representation to a client, but "competence" requires that "a lawyer should stay abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology." There is no outright obligation to encrypt our email traffic to clients; however, certain circumstances do warrant such steps.
Attorney Duty to Encrypt Post-Snowden
The Legal Intelligencer
October 17, 2013