Legal Issues for Virtual Law Firms

Via Legal Blog Watch, in a post titled More Legal Issues When Working in the Cloud, some interesting issues are raised privacy, authentication of documents, electronic discovery, and security issues are raised. Virtual law firms that are moving towards cloud computing will have to face these issues in their practice. The blog post is based on an article from New York Law Journal titled Cloud Computing Brings New Legal Challenges.

Given the explosive growth of cloud computing, it should be no surprise that it presents numerous legal issues for businesses. Two of the most significant are privacy concerns and the implications of cloud computing for pretrial discovery.

As with other forms of “outsourcing,” businesses’ duties to protect private or confidential data do not end with their transfer of the data to third-party vendors for storage or processing. A recent report from the World Privacy Forum, “Cloud Computing and Privacy,” highlights a number of important privacy issues raised by cloud computing that corporate users of cloud computing should keep in mind. [Access the report]

The New York Law Journal article concludes with:

As cloud computing becomes more understood and more widely utilized, counsel will focus on both privacy and discovery issues to a greater extent than they are doing so currently, which will lead to negotiated resolution of issues and, on occasion, litigation and court decisions.

As with many issues of technology, counsel will need to understand not just the legal precedent concerning cloud servers, but also the particular facts concerning their business’ use of cloud servers, the type of data that is stored in the cloud, and the location and document retention practices of the service provider.

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