Wednesday, January 30, 2013

E-Filing Confidentiality Breach Draws Reprimand

An Illinois Hearing Board has reprimanded an attorney who disclosed confidential information in a court filing:

In 2010, Respondent, an associate attorney at the law firm of Greene and Letts in Chicago, Illinois, was the attorney responsible for all cases stemming from a contract the law firm had with the United States Department of Justice to represent the United States in debt collection cases involving student loans.

 In July and August 2011, at Respondent's direction, one of Respondent's several non-lawyer assistants prepared complaints and corresponding exhibits alleging that defendants were indebted to the United States for failure to pay student loans.

At Respondent's direction, one of Respondent's several non-lawyer assistants logged on to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois ("N.D. Ill.") Case Management/Electronic Case File ("CM/ECF") system to file the complaints and exhibits.

When logging on to the CM/ECF system, one of Respondent's several non-lawyer assistants, was required to check a box that declared that the filings were in compliance with Rule 5.2(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure ("Rule 5.2(a)"), which required that personal identifying information be redacted from all filings.

The exhibits that Respondent attached to the complaints were loan documents that contained the defendants' personal identifying information, such as social security number, date of birth, and account numbers. In numerous complaints and exhibits, defendants' personal identifying
information was not redacted, which cause the defendants' personal identifying information to be available to the public and viewable on the N.D. Ill. website home page.

The attorney also failed to properly suopervise the process of redacting the confidential information. (Mike Frisch)

Bar Discipline & Process | Permalink

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