Bench & Bar

JAN 2018

The Bench & Bar magazine is published to provide members of the KBA with information that will increase their knowledge of the law, improve the practice of law, and assist in improving the quality of legal services for the citizenry.

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39 BENCH & BAR | add "the risks and benefits of technology" to lawyers' obligations to maintain the requisite knowledge and skill. e "reply all" button presents a dangerous risk to the sending lawyer because the sender might inadvertently send an embarrassing or harmful email to unintended recipients. e web contains many examples of funny, embarrassing or harmful uses of "reply all." In addition to "think before you reply," the Wall Street Journal suggests: If the system allows customization of the toolbar. "Reply All" can be made more difficult to use accidentally by moving it away from the Reply button. Organizations can also install add-ons for Outlook which prompt people when they are using Reply All. Similar to the helpful, "Are you sure you want to delete this?" or the "is the attachment actually attached" pop-ups, this add-on wants confirmation before enabling Reply All, giving senders the chance to reconsider whether that's really their intention. (Let's Make it Harder to Use "Reply All," Wall Street Journal, November 13, 2016). The Rules of Professional Conduct are amended periodically. Lawyers should consult the current version of the rule and com- ments, SCR 3.130 (available at, before relying on this opinion. QUESTION 1: When law firms are considering merger what client information may be disclosed without client consent? ANSWER: Firms may exchange basic information (client names, whether the client is a former or current client, adverse parties, and, if necessary, a brief statement of the nature of the representation) so that the firms may identify possible conflicts of interest; without client consent, firms may not exchange information protected by the attorney-client privilege or that might adversely affect a material interest of a client. e lawyer may not reveal client identity or the nature of the representation if the lawyer knows or should know that the client might object to disclosure. AUTHORITY: KRPC rules and comments designed to further lawyer mobility: Rule 1.9 and comment 4, comment 3 to Rule 1.7, Rule 1.10(d), comment 7 to Rule 1.17; ABA Formal Op. 09-455, ABA Rule 1.6(7) and comment 13, Restatement of the Law Governing Lawyers, sec.60, Large Law Firm Lateral Hire Conflicts Checking: Profes- sional Duty Meets Actual Practice, James Fisher, 36 J. Legal Prof. 167 (2011). QUESTION 2: When a lawyer is considering a move from one firm to another what client information may the lawyer provide to the new firm without the client consent? ANSWER: e lawyer may provide basic information (client names, whether the client is a former or current client, adverse parties, and, if necessary, a brief statement of the nature of the representation) for the new firm to run a conflicts check. e lawyer should also tell the new firm which clients, if any, the lawyer anticipates will go with the lawyer to the new firm. Without client consent, the lawyer may not provide information protected by the attorney-cli- ent privilege or that might adversely affect a Put our ERISA experience to work for your clients! Do you have clients eligible to receive benefits under an ERISA plan? Early representation is key, so call us today. We can help. • Long-term Disability • Short-term Disability • Life/Accidental Death Insurance 800-249-3731 201 West Short Street, Suite 800 • Lexington, KY 40507 This is an advertisement Services may be performed by other lawyers ERISA Ethics Opinion KBA E-443 Issued: November 17, 2017 Formal Ethics Opinion K E N T U C K Y B A R A S S O C I A T I O N NOTE TO READER is ethics opinion has been formally adopted by the Board of Gover- nors of the Kentucky Bar Association under the provisions of Kentucky Supreme Court Rule 3.530. is Rule provides that formal opinions are advisory only. B&B MARKETPLACE FORMAL ETHICS OPIONION E-443

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