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Opinion 648

Question Presented

Under the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct, may a lawyer communicate confidential information by email?

Lawyers in a Texas law firm represent clients in family law, employment law, personal injury, and criminal law matters. When they started practicing law, the lawyers typically delivered written communication by facsimile or the U.S. Postal Service.  Now, most of their written communication is delivered by web-based email, such as unencrypted Gmail.

Having read reports about email accounts being hacked and the National Security Agency obtaining email communications without a search warrant, the lawyers are concerned about whether it is proper for them to continue using email to communicate confidential information.

Bluebook Citation

Tex. Comm. On Professional Ethics, Op. 648 (2015)