The American Bar Association (ABA) last week issued updated guidelines on attorney confidentiality obligations surrounding client communications, concluding that basic email security measures may not always be sufficient to guarantee client confidentiality.

The ABA’s Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility issued the updated guidance, Formal Opinion 477, to modernize its formal opinion on confidentiality obligations in email originally issued in 1999. “While the basic obligations of confidentiality remain applicable today, the role and risks of technology in the practice of law have evolved since 1999,” the opinion states.

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