Florida Publishes Proposed Cloud Computing Ethics Opinion
On January 25, 2013, the Professional Ethics Committee of the Florida State Bar published Proposed Advisory Opinion 12-3 2 related to the use of cloud computing in law practice.
The proposed opinion refers to the ethics opinions already published in Alabama, Arizona, Iowa, Nevada, New York and Pennsylvania. Here is a link to my post that lists state bar ethics opinions related to virtual law practice and cloud computing.
This short proposed opinion in Florida also comes to a similar conclusion as most of the other states that have addressed the topic: Yes. It is o.k. to use cloud computing in law practice. However, there are precautions that the lawyer should take. And then the proposed opinion provides the usual caveats which essentially come down to using “reasonable care” in the selection and use of the technology in law practice to ensure compliance with the Rules of Professional Conduct (in particular Model Rule 1.6(a) regarding confidentiality).
The conclusion of the opinion states:
In summary, lawyers may use cloud computing if they take reasonable precautions to ensure that confidentiality of client information is maintained. The lawyer should research the service provider to be used, should ensure that the service provider maintains adequate security, should ensure that the lawyer has adequate access to the information stored remotely, and should consider backing up the data elsewhere as a precaution.