The ABA’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct require lawyers to monitor for and prevent data breaches, determine what occurred, restore systems and inform clients if their sensitive data is breached, according to an opinion penned by the American Bar Association.

Last month, the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility released Formal Opinion 483 that discussed an attorney’s ethical obligation if a data breach exposes a client’s confidential information. State, federal and international law compliance aren’t discussed in the opinion, but compliance with those laws does not “necessarily achieve compliance with ethics obligations,” the ABA said. 

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