Computer Usage Policies

Information Governance includes Computer Usage Policies and Records Information Management

February 21, 2024

Rusty Texts: Sending Privileged Information to Clients

In ‘Rust’ Armorer’s Phone Snafu Shows Risks Of Texting Clients – Law360 (Feb. 13, 2024), Phillip Bantz wrote: “A legal dust-up over compromised text messages between a movie prop weapons expert and her lawyer in the ‘Rust’ film shooting case raises questions about whether attorneys should text with clients and serves as […]
January 27, 2024

And When I Die… What Happens to My Social Media? – – Part II

In a prior blog, And When I Die….  What Happens to My Social Media?, I discussed Maryland’s “Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act” (“MFADAA”).  The statute permits the “user” of “digital assets” to authorize a designee to access specified digital assets after the user’s death or disability.  It is codified in Md. […]
January 26, 2024

“Ninth Circuit Creates Panel to Study Artificial Intelligence”

In Ninth Circuit Creates Panel to Study Artificial Intelligence (1) (bloomberglaw.com)(Jan. 25, 2024), Suzanne Monyak reported that:  “The West Coast-based US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is creating a committee focusing on the impact of artificial intelligence on legal practice, the latest federal court to address the growing technology.”  She […]
January 23, 2024

Florida Adopts Ethics Guidelines for Use of Generative A.I.

“Florida lawyers have new guidelines for using generative AI after the Board of Governors voted unanimously January 19 to approve Ethics Advisory Opinion 24-1.”  See J. Ash, Board of Governors adopts ethics guidelines for generative AI use – The Florida Bar (Jan. 23, 2024).  Mr. Ash reports that the version is substantially similar […]
December 13, 2023

Doug Austin Reports on Google Export Feature Re: Hyperlinked Documents

Modern attachments have garnered a lot of attention. See, e.g., More on “Modern Attachments,” “Pointers,” or Hyperlinked Documents – Humpty Dumpty and “Usability”.  and T. Thames, Modern attachments and eDiscovery: Navigating the complexities of linked documents (onna.com) Most of that attention has been focused on what I call the “Humpty Dumpty” issue – – when […]
December 4, 2023

What is Double Spacing?

A federal court had to define double-spacing.  It apparently wasn’t happy about it.  See Debra C. Weiss, Ruling in double-spacing kerfuffle, federal judge observes lawyers don’t need ‘more words on a page’ (abajournal.com) (Nov. 29, 2023). The dispute reminds me of the very funny You Tube video of a deposition called “What […]
November 29, 2023

And When I Die….  What Happens to My Social Media?

Like most other States, Maryland has enacted the “Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act.” The statute permits the “user” of “digital assets” to authorize a designee to access specified digital assets after the user’s death or disability.  It is codified in Md. Code Ann., Est. & Trusts Art., Title 15, Subtitle 6 […]
November 13, 2023

More on “Modern Attachments,” “Pointers,” or Hyperlinked Documents – Humpty Dumpty and “Usability”

I have written several blogs about “modern attachments,” a/k/a “pointers or “hyperlinks.”[1]  So, I was interested to read Pursuit Credit Special Opportunity Fund, L.P. v. Krunchcash, LLC, 2023 WL 6465017 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. Co. Oct. 4, 2023)(unreported)(Cohen, J.), which cited several hyperlink cases that I was not aware of. One “modern attachment” […]
April 25, 2023

What Hath Noom Wrought?

The “modern attachments” decision of Nichols v. Noom, Inc., 2021 WL 948646 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 11, 2021), generated a lot of buzz when it was issued. At its core, Noom held that hyperlinked files are generally not part of a transmitting email.  Said differently, when a party produces an email that contains a […]
April 19, 2023

NBC Program on the Risks of Sharing Your Email Address

NBC’s Today show ran an interesting piece on The risks behind sharing your email address with stores (today.com)(Apr. 19, 2023).
December 16, 2022

What Do Judge Peck’s 2009 Wm. Gross Opinion and “Zoomers” Have to Do With Each Other?

“Zoomers” have their own style of communication.  Danielle April, Gen Z’s slang and emojis are confusing older colleagues at work – The Washington Post (Dec. 12-13, 2022). Generation Z, those born between 1997 and 2012, have a “form of messaging” that creates “a quirky challenge for multigenerational workplaces….” Id.  For example, Ms. […]
December 16, 2022

Maryland Judge Quits After Facebook Posts

The Daily Record reported that an Orphans’ Cout judge “quit last week amid disciplinary allegations that he misused ‘the prestige of judicial office’ on his Facebook page by posting a profile photo of himself in his judicial robe and engaging in partisan political discussion, giving legal advice and advertising his private business […]
November 9, 2022

New ABA “Reply All” Ethics Opinion

A new ABA Ethics Opinion addresses the “reply all” conundrum. The issue arises when sending counsel copies their client on an email and receiving counsel replies to all persons on the email.  That is a communication by receiving counsel to sending counsel’s represented client. ABA Formal Opinion 503 states that, when sending counsel […]
August 12, 2022

“Modern Attachments” or “Pointers”- What is a Document? (Part IV)

  I have written a series of blogs on What is a Document? (Part III),  What is a Document? (Part II), and What is a “Document?” In those blogs, I pointed to issues that may be presented by, for example, text bubbles, spreadsheet cells, Excel workbooks with multiple worksheets, PDF Portfolios, and […]
August 4, 2022

Trump Aide Navarro Sued by US Over Private Email Account Records

Bloomberg Law reports that: The US Justice Department sued former White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, claiming he’s refused to provide the National Archives with emails retained on a private account he used while working for President Donald Trump. “Mr. Navarro is wrongfully retaining presidential records that are the property of the […]
July 11, 2022

How to Properly Erase Hard Drives?

The Washington Post recently published an article by Chris Velazco, titled How to securely erase your old hard drives once and for all (July 8, 2022). “There are so many stories about people buying used computers online and recovering data,” said Andrés Arrieta, director of consumer privacy engineering at the Electronic Frontier […]
June 22, 2022

Secret Moonlighting, by Attorney in Plaintiff’s Law Firm, as a Document Reviewer for Defendant, Does Not Result in Disqualification of Plaintiff’s Firm

In Troyce Manassa v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, 2022 WL 2176334 (S.D. Ind. June 16, 2022), a motion to disqualify counsel was denied.  Plaintiffs are represented by the law firm of “FeganScott.”  They sued the NCAA. “Upon learning that a FeganScott staff attorney moonlighted as a document reviewer for the NCAA in […]
April 15, 2022

Attorney’s Duty to Protect Smartphone Data

“An attorney who stores the confidential identity of their clients on a smartphone must not consent to share contact information with an app unless that information won’t be shared with any human, the New York State Bar Association said.” D. McAfee, New York Bar Outlines Attorneys’ Duty to Protect Smartphone Data (bloomberglaw.com) (Apr. 13, […]
April 9, 2022

Information Governance – Mis(?)-Labeling Documents as Privileged (Part III)

When the Department of Justice alleged that Alphabet Inc.’s Google was camouflaging ordinary documents as privileged, I – and many others – posted abut information governance.  When Google responded that the government’s allegation was “baseless” and that it had spent 21,000 hours on privilege review, I also reported that.  Information Governance – […]
March 23, 2022

Information Governance – Mis(?)-Labeling Documents as Privileged

Mar. 25, 2022 UPDATE: B. Ford and M. Bergen, Google Disputes DOJ Claim It Hid Documents in Lawyer Emails (bloomberglaw.com) (Mar. 24, 2022). Alphabet Inc.’s Google is pushing back on U.S. Justice Department claims that it improperly used attorney-client privilege to conceal documents in the government’s monopoly lawsuit against the company. “None of the […]
February 23, 2022

Information Governance Decisions Can Carry a Big Price Tag

Businesses need to carefully consider whether they will permit employees to use business information technology systems for private work.  For example, while allowing an employee to use company resources for charitable work may be commendable, it can impose substantial costs if the non-business work leads to litigation. A recent article about a […]
November 19, 2021

Recent Decision Shows the Need for Information Governance, Computer Usage Policies, and Employee Training

Information governance and computer usage policies should caution employees not to include embarrassing information in business communications.  Once that information is included in an email, if the communication is filed in court, the public likely gets to see it.  Callahan v. Un. Network for Organ Sharing, __ F.4th __, 2021 WL 5351863 […]
July 21, 2021

Burden of Proof: Sanctions for Intentional Deletion of Text Messages

In a prior blog, “Burden of Proof of Spoliation,” I noted District of Maryland authority holding that: “Absent guidance from the Fourth Circuit, ‘the general approach of courts in the Fourth Circuit has been to apply the clear and convincing evidence standard, especially where a relatively harsh sanction like an adverse inference […]
March 12, 2021

Can a Lawyer Ethically “Reply All” to an Opposing Client?

New Jersey Ethics Opinion 739 (Mar. 10, 2021), again points to the dangers of copying one’s client on communications to opposing counsel. I discussed the ethical dangers of attorneys using “reply all” in a prior post.  If an attorney “cc’s” the attorney’s client on a communication to opposing counsel, what happens when […]
January 24, 2021

“The Gang That Couldn’t Spoliate Straight”

A few years ago, the Hon. Paul W. Grimm wrote: “At the end of the day, this is the case of the ‘gang that couldn’t spoliate straight.’”  Victor Stanley, Inc. v. Creative Pipe, Inc., 269 F.R.D. 497, 501 (D. Md. 2010). That description is equally applicable to the conduct that led to a […]
January 4, 2021

The Ethical Dangers of Attorneys Using “Reply All”

In a May 2011 post, I discussed Computer Usage Policies and the “Reply All” Button. A recent article has expanded on that discussion.  Erika Stillabower, “The (Ethical) Risks of ‘Reply All’,” The Washington Lawyer (July/August 2020), 54. Ms. Stillabower describes situations where opposing counsel “cc’s” that attorney’s client on an email.  She […]