The upcoming issue of GPSolo magazine, focused on “The Law and the Internet,” is one of those that you will want to keep after you’ve read through it the first time. You’ll be tempted, I promise, to set it aside and save it for future reference. Within its pages is a bounty of information to keep you up to date on a number of issues involving the practice of law and our relationship to the Internet. If you do save it, I have no doubt you’ll find yourself turning to it again and again.
In this issue, author Nicole Black reminds us that a majority of states have incorporated into their rules of professional conduct the obligation for lawyers to stay abreast of developing technologies. Ms. Black’s assessment of what’s required of us and how we can maintain our level of facility with the ever-changing technology landscape is a wake-up call to those who aren’t technologically savvy and a bracing reminder to those who are that we owe it to our clients and to ourselves to acquire the necessary competence or be left behind.
Some of the articles will unravel a few mysteries even for Internet and tech veterans among us. Paul Domnick addresses cyber-security, protecting our clients’ data, and what to do if our firms are hit with ransomware attacks. Dustin Sanchez provides a how-to for generating video content to attract clients in need of our services. Josh Burday unravels the mysteries of net neutrality and what its protection or demise means to us as attorneys. And Jessica T. Ornsby articulates the steps we must take to protect our own and our clients’ privacy in today’s dizzying online landscape.
Brett Burney and Chelsea Lambert visit the world of e-discovery and guide us through the expanding universe of data we are responsible for gathering to keep up with our discovery obligations in a universe where texting has replaced telephoning and lots of clients post the narrative of their daily lives across multiple platforms, as well as how to actually produce it once it’s collected. Examining that situation from the other side, Amy M. Stewart and Raha Assadi have laid out an extraordinary guide to handling the introduction of electronically stored information in court.
Perhaps my favorite of all the extremely practical and enlightening articles in this issue is also the simplest. Noah M. Rich has prepared a truly ingenious and imaginative guide to accomplishing legal research using the Internet without the necessity for spending one thin dime. Who can argue with the value of free legal research for solo and small firm lawyers?
A discussion of the November/December “Law and the Internet” issue of GPSolo would not be complete without a nod to the new ABA Formal Opinion, released just as the upcoming issue was going to press. On October 17, 2018, the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility issued Formal Opinion 483, “Lawyers’ Obligations after an Electronic Data Breach or Cyberattack,” which imposes a duty on lawyers to notify clients when they or their law firms have experienced a data breach that involves, or has a substantial likelihood of involving, material client information. Under any circumstances, as Opinion 483 makes clear, lawyers simply are not permitted to hide negative information from their clients. Make sure you access the Opinion and make yourself familiar with it: https://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/images/news/formal_op_483.pdf.
Finally, this of GPSolo magazine issue will include our much-anticipated, annual Tech Gift Guide, where Jeffrey Allen and Ashley Hallene preview all the best technology gifts to give this holiday season—even if you’re giving them to yourself!
Please enjoy the articles in the issue. And tuck it away—ideally using your digital capabilities—for future reference. I assure you the articles in this issue will prove themselves of practical value to you many times over.