Thursday, September 9, 2021
Reuters, Calif. Bar to Attorneys: Disable Alexa When Working From Home:
Working from home under emergency circumstances isn’t an excuse for attorneys to slack off on their ethical obligations.
That’s the takeaway of a draft opinion from the State Bar of California’s Standing Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct released Thursday for public comment. The opinion clarifies that attorneys have the same ethical duties under the California Rules of Professional Conduct when working remotely in response to the COVID-19 pandemic or other disasters as they do when they are in the office. The state bar is accepting public comment on the opinion through Nov. 12.
“Lawyers and law firms should implement reasonable measures, policies, and practices to ensure continued compliance with these rules in a remote working environment, with a particular focus on the duties of confidentiality, technology competence, communication, and supervision,” the opinion reads.
When working from home, attorneys should ensure other household members can’t access confidential client information. Separate accounts should be created for anyone else who uses a lawyer’s computer.