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Denise Howell is a seasoned appellate and intellectual property litigator based in Los Angeles. Denise writes one of the first and most popular law-related blogs, Bag and Baggage, coined the term "blawg" and helped pioneer podcasting for lawyers. Microcontent obsessed since 2001, she is frequently quoted in the media on legal issues involving intellectual property and technology law. "Sound Policy" is Denise's show at IT Conversations, and it's also what she hopes results from the briefs she submits to court. Email Denise at

Dennis Kennedy is a computer lawyer and legal technology expert based in St. Louis, Missouri. An award-winning author, a frequent speaker and a widely-read blogger, he has more than 300 publications on legal, technology and Internet topics, many of which are collected in his e-books. Dennis has been described as someone who knows almost every rock song in existence and, more importantly, how they apply to technology and law. Email Dennis at his gmail address.

Tom Mighell is Senior Counsel and Litigation Technology Support Coordinator at Cowles & Thompson in Dallas. He has published the Internet Legal Research Weekly newsletter since 2000 and blogged about the Internet and legal technology at Inter Alia since August of 2002. With Tom's singing, Ernie on guitar and Dennis' encylopedic knowledge of rock music, we may have the beginnings of a good band, if this whole blog thing doesn't work out. Email Tom at

Marty Schwimmer left a partnership in the largest trademark practice in the world and founded Schwimmer Mitchell, a full-service IP micro-boutique in Westchester County, New York, where he represents owners of famous and not yet famous trademarks. He founded The Trademark Blog, the first IP law blog and the one with the most pictures. He is the first to come in and the last to leave in his firm. Email Marty at

Ernest Svenson practices law with a mid-sized law firm in New Orleans, specializing in business-related lawsuits. Most of his practice takes place in federal court, especially the Eastern District. He is best known for his weblog Ernie the Attorney, which he started as an experiment. Like many experiments it got out of control. Nevertheless, he continues to practice law and, occasionally, to seek enlightenment. Email Ernest at
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June 28, 2007

Agreeing To The Cloud

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Posted by Denise Howell

As more and better communication and collaboration functions move to the Web (under non-negotiated, vendor-centric terms of use), what are our obligations as both tech- and ethics-savvy lawyers? I for one am not about to give up Gmail. So, what's the best practice?

      Shun Web services, you simply can't control the data?

      Use Web services only when you have specific, confidentiality and reliability guaranteeing service level agreements?

      Use Web services liberally, but acquaint yourself with the applicable terms of use and make sure clients are amenable?

I lean toward #3. You?

Comments (1) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: E-Mail | Ethics and Technology | Ethics, Decorum and Manners | Law 2.0 | Law Practice Management | Legal Technology | Practice of Law | Virtual Lawyers | Web 2.0


1. Tom Mighell on June 29, 2007 6:54 AM writes...

I certainly agree that we are headed in this direction, and putting language in your retainer is obviously necessary to warn your clients about possible compromises in their data -- for example, when Gmail has a flaw in it that allows hackers to get all of your contacts:,1000000567,10004743o-2000331828b,00.htm

I think lawyers who use Gmail as their sole email should also have some method for backing up their mail -- you never know when Google is just going to delete ALL of the email of 50 or 60 users

In the seminars I'm giving, I see attorneys who are interested in using web services, but are VERY uneasy about the relative lack of security -- none of the lawyers I talk to want to upload sensitive, confidential documents to Google Docs, which appears (to them, anyway) to be accessible with a simple password.

I also lean towards using Web services, but I do believe from an ethics standpoint that lawyers need to take the same precautions to safeguard their client data online as they do in their physical office -- although there's a difference in the way the data is created/kept/managed, there should be no difference in the way it's protected.

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