Oops! I Made a Mistake: When Ethics Rules Require Notifying the Client [LGE 056]

Apr 16, 2019 | Podcast

When do we tell a client we made a mistake – whether big or small? Delivering bad news is not easy, so it helps to know how to handle these situations. Today, we discuss ABA opinions that deal with specific instances of the disclosure. Sometimes we overestimate the requirements on what needs to actually be shared. so today you’ll learn what to disclose to be in full compliance. Tune in and discover the two 2018 ABA opinions that need to be at the forefront of our minds. 


Show Highlights:

  • Go back and listen to episode 30 with Kathleen Havener on delivering bad news in the best way
  • First ABA opinion Formal Opinion 483 – Lawyers’ Obligations After an Electronic Data Breach or Cyberattack
  • ABA opinions are not binding but extremely instructive
  • Second ABA opinion Formal Opinion 481 – A Lawyer’s Duty to Inform a Current or Former Client of the Lawyer’s Material Error
  • Megan’s own experience with her website that was hacked years ago
  • The definitions of a data breach or cyberattack
  • Safe harbors to safeguarding information such as firewalls
  • Lawyers are encouraged to adopt and follow both paper and electronic document retention schedules
  • The disclosure must be sufficient to provide enough information for the client to make an informed decision as of what to do next
  • What kind of mistake require disclosure
  • Rule 1.4 is for current clients, not former ones
  • What kind of things are material to the disclosure


Hoping this podcast stirs up some more discussion, thank you for listening!

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The links for the ABA opinions:


Formal Opinion 481 Link

Formal Opinion 483 Link

Check out this episode!