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Wells FargoWells Fargo ()

Civil litigation in 2017 presents any number of problems for lawyers. Beyond the usual challenge of preparing a case for trial while wrangling with litigation adversaries, counsel must now be aware of cybersecurity concerns and other digital age complexities. It’s no wonder that many lawyers have deferred or altogether given up on becoming e-discovery competent.

And yet, the need for basic competence in the age of e-discovery is more compelling than ever. In a surprising number of cases this year, lawyers have been unable to execute essential discovery tasks. Nowhere is this more apparent than the recent Wells Fargo data breach.

Much has already been written about last month’s breach in which outside counsel for Wells Fargo mistakenly produced thousands of client files containing confidential financial information. Commentators have rightfully used this incident to spotlight the importance of breach preparedness. Nevertheless, this incident also informs lawyers of the need to take basic discovery measures to safeguard client information from inadvertent disclosure.

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