Tuesday, October 5, 2010
In another of a series of recent cases involving the duty of confidentiality, the Indiana Supreme Court imposed an agreed public reprimand of an attorney who had asked his adult children to dispose of 12-14 banker boxes of client files. The boxes were taken to a recycling bin but placed on the ground rather than in the bin itself. The wind blew the top off of some boxes and client files were scattered in public view. The attorney learned of the problem and retrieved the documents. Nonetheless:
This case highlights the critical importance of an attorney's responsibility to safeguard sensitive client information. Even if Respondent's files had been placed inside the recycling bins, the information would have been available for opportunists to retrieve, with potentially devastating consequences to the clients. Shredding client files the attorney no longer needs prior to disposal is one alternative for providing safer protection of client information.
The attorney had two prior public reprimands. No indication how this came to light. (Mike Frisch)