Vermont ethical opinion on attorneys using the cloud

The Vermont bar Association, in opinion 2010-6, agreed with the national consensus regarding use of the cloud; holding that usage of SAAS (Software as a service) is ethically permissible, as long as the attorney takes reasonable precautions to protect the confidentiality of the data and ensure access to the materials.  
Although “reasonable” could be as vague as Justice Stewart’s take on pornography, industry standards amongst legal software providers provide an attorney with the knowledge that their data is secure, such as bank-level encryption and password protected access.

Considering many attorneys fail to even have adequate off-site storage, or use unsecured portable computing (easily stolen or forgotten), the cloud can often offer a higher level of safety and security then many attorneys currently maintain.

While no legal software provider can guarantee 100% up-time, having multiple back-ups of data provides the ultimate ability to ensure an attorney’s data is recoverable in the event of a primary server failure.

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