Thanks for checking in on our ongoing Lawyerist poll series.

We use these weekly polls to get your feedback on both the posts we write and how we manage the site. Your participation helps us improve our work and make it more valuable to you.

We have written for years about the various options, including pros and cons, of using web-apps, mobile-apps, and other cloud computing to manage your law practice.

A recent post, about a small experiment running a client matter using Google Docs sparked such a debate about lawyer use of cloud data that we thought you should have a chance to weigh in.

So, what do you think, can lawyers trust third-party interest storage for their digital client files?

Please take a minute to let us know in the survey below.



  1. The cloud is here. However, due diligence is still mandatory. In any form of communication / data storage there is risk of information leak. The key is to understand those risks and how to avoid them. If the risk is unreasonable to you and/or your client, then the communication / data storage method should be avoided.

    Most of the fear and reluctance to adopt cloud-based technologies arises from lack of understanding what they are and how they work. For those that do understand what they are and how they work and still avoid these technologies altogether, they probably have extremely high data security needs (although there are still probably cloud solutions for these folks).

  2. Tsahy Shapsa says:

    When considering gDocs one needs to be able to assess the level of visibility & control over files created & uploaded to that environment, and compare that to existing controls with on-premise file storage.
    Google Docs, which is part of the Google Apps suite, has a strategic benefit to customers in the form of the google marketplace. Similar to the iPhone App store, the Google Marketplace offers hundreds of business apps that can extend the functionality of any Google App application, and specifically Google Docs, around governance, security and control. In fact, technical analysis of Google Docs combined with the appropriate governance / compliance app on the marketplace, will show that the level of security & governance achieved will often exceed (!) what most customers are able to achieve with on-premise systems.

  3. Graham Martin says:

    I know there have been some test cases on whether emailed information retains its confidentiality and privilege, but am wondering if any attempts have been made yet to argue that placing otherwise confidential or privileged information in the cloud negates its protections.
    Intuitively it strikes me that anything an attorney stores in a cloud-based service/location that is supposed to be secure is akin to putting confidential documents in a safe, and that if they are still recovered it should not be the attorney’s fault (having taken reasonable steps to ensure the security of the information).
    However, intuition is not always a good guide to the law….

  4. @graham What test cases are you referring to? I don’t know of any cases that says that an email itself strips the contents of confidentiality or privilege. The cases in which privilege has been lost relates to whether third parties can claim legitimate access to the emails, not whether someone hacked into a server.

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