Security Standards for Legal Technology: What Are They, Exactly?


Things happen at places like the ABATechshow that make you feel like you are experiencing the future unfold right in the moment. Nothing like watching planes crash into the World Trade Center or the devastation of Japan’s Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant on TV, mind you, but the experience of knowing a particular event would eventually occur, and then voila, there it is.

One of those moments for me was the announcement of the launch of the International Legal Technical Standards Organization, which issued their white paper, ILTSO Standards for 2011. It is, in a phrase, a gargantuan effort to identify, categorize and enumerate the steps to be taken by lawyers, when employing technology, to meet the “reasonable efforts” standard adopted in several state opinions that address ethical obligations to ensure client data security.

Everyone knew the definition of the “reasonable efforts” would evolve eventually. Typically, if a term needs to be interpreted or defined, we wait for a state ethics opinions, legislation or appellate decisions. But in the world of technology, we just don’t have that kind of time. And better the real world community itemize the steps a “reasonable” lawyer should take in technology due diligence than the academics who don’t have either foot in the real world.

Richard Granat discusses ILTSO’s formation and standards in his blog post, How Safe and Secure is Your Law Practice Environment?, he notes:

A positive impact of having this evaluation framework in place might be the accelerated adoption of technologies, such as cloud computing. Compliance with the guidelines would support a law firm’s assertion that the firm has taken all reasonable steps to secure client data to reduce its liability in case of a security breach over which the firm had no control.

Please see full article below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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