Industry leaders publish open responses to ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20 Proposals and North Carolina State Bar Proposed Formal Ethics Opinion on cloud computing
The Legal Cloud Computing Association ("LCCA") has published its responses to proposals issued by the ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20 ("Commission") and the North Carolina State Bar ("NC State Bar") regarding the use of cloud computing within a law practice.
The LCCA, formed in December 2010, is the collective voice of the leading cloud computing software providers for the legal profession, consisting of Clio (Themis Solutions, Inc.), DiaLawg, LLC, DirectLaw, Inc., NetDocuments, Nextpoint, Inc., RealPractice, Inc., Rocket Matter, LLC, and Total Attorneys, LLC.
Response to ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20
The LCCA's letter to the ABA Commission on Ethics was issued in response to the Commission's Initial Draft Proposals on "Technology and Confidentiality" published on May 2, 2011. The Proposals include certain modifications to the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct that are designed to facilitate the responsible adoption of technology that will increase the quality, and reduce the cost, of legal services. The Proposals were issued as part of a process initiated in early 2010 where the Commission published an Issues Paper requesting comments and feedback from the legal community.
The LCCA fully supports the Commission's Proposals, and thanks the Commission for incorporating feedback from the LCCA and others on the Issues Paper.
Response to North Carolina State Bar Proposed 2011FEO6
The LCCA's letter to the NC State Bar pertains to Proposed Formal Ethics Opinion ("FEO") 2011FEO6. The Proposed FEO attempts to address the ethical issues relating to the use of Software-as-a-Service or cloud computing within a law firm environment.
While the LCCA supports the NC State Bar's efforts to provide clarity on the use of cloud computing to its members, the Proposed FEO as written would negatively impact a broad scope of attorneys from those who do nothing more than use a web-based email client or conduct online legal research to those that do full scale online delivery of legal services.
The onerous requirements of the Proposed FEO, detailed in full in the LCCA's response to the NC State Bar, would force many cloud computing providers to withdraw from the NC market entirely, thus negatively impacting the technological capabilities and competitiveness of NC-based law firms.
The LCCA thanks both the ABA and the North Carolina State Bar for the opportunity to provide feedback on their respective proposals. It is the LCCA's hope that a constructive dialog among stakeholders will facilitate the rapid adoption of cloud computing technology within the legal profession, consistent with the highest standards of professionalism and ethical compliance.
About the Legal Cloud Computing Association
Formed in 2010, The Legal Cloud Computing Association ("LCCA") is the collective voice of the leading cloud computing software providers for the legal profession. The LCCA consists of Clio (Themis Solutions, Inc.), DiaLawg, LLC, DirectLaw, Inc., NetDocuments Inc., Nextpoint, Inc., RealPractice, Inc., Rocket Matter, LLC, and Total Attorneys, LLC.
About Clio (Themis Solutions Inc.)
Clio (http://www.goclio.com), a comprehensive web-based practice management Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) product, is specifically designed for solo practitioners and small law firms using PCs and Macs. It can be accessed from any Internet-enabled computer or mobile device. Secure and easy-to-use, Clio provides case/matter management, time tracking, billing/reporting, client contact and document management, task scheduling, trust accounting, and performance metrics for independent lawyers to benchmark their business goals. In addition, Clio includes ClientConnect, a secure portal for document sharing and collaboration with clients, and Clio Express, an offline time capture application.
Clio's parent company, Themis Solutions Inc., is based in Vancouver, British Columbia. The company was founded by Jack Newton and Rian Gauvreau. Visit www.goclio.com, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, call 1-888-858-CLIO or follow on Twitter @goclio.
About Dialawg, LLC
Dialawg, LLC (read press release) headquartered in Carmel, Indiana, provides a world-class, private communication network to the legal profession. Its proprietary software-as-a-service platform uses advanced encryption technology to deliver simple, affordable message and document collaboration to lawyers and their clients across the globe. Dialawg provides free basic accounts, allows subscribers to communicate more securely on the web, and works with most common platforms and devices--so that attorneys can focus less on complicated technologies and more on protecting and delivering value to clients.
About DirectLaw, Inc.
DirectLaw, Inc, based in Owings Mills, Maryland and Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, provides a virtual law firm platform to solos and small law firms that enables these law firms to deliver legal services over the Internet without developing complex software applications on their own. For more information visit DirectLaw.com.
NetDocuments is a leading, cloud-computing content management and collaboration service. Organizations of all sizes can save tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars by eliminating the hardware, system and client software, and ongoing administration of a legacy client-server technology model. With the NetDocuments patented service simply "turned on," business professionals can immediately begin storing, managing and sharing documents throughout the world and on any Internet-connected service device. Founded in 1998 and based in Orem, Utah, NetDocuments has 100,000 plus users in over 128 countries.
About Nextpoint, Inc.
Nextpoint provides cloud computing tools and services for legal, compliance and regulatory needs. The Nextpoint platform is an on-demand, multi tenant suite of software-as-a-service products that are changing the way corporations, governments, and lawyers collaborate and manage electronic data. Nextpoint offers its customers a reliable, proven set of products to realize the benefits of cloud computing. Nextpoint manages terabytes of data for hundreds of customers across the nation, including Amgen, ExxonMobil, Pfizer, and Verizon, the state of Washington, non-profits, and law firms of all sizes from solo practitioners to the AmLaw 200.
About RealPractice, Inc.
RealPractice, Inc. helps attorneys and law firms to "realize the potential of their practice." For more than 11 years, the company has been providing innovative and trusted software and marketing services to thousands of legal professionals, from the solo practitioner to some of the largest law firms in the country. RealPractice products and services include My RealPractice™, Performance Marketing, My RealSites™, LawyerToolbox™, SmartRules™, SmartRules Enterprise, RealCourtDocs™, RealDealDocs™, RealDealDocs Enterprise, Real Knowledge Management™ and RealDealForms™.
About Rocket Matter, LLC
Rocket Matter, LLC provides Rocket Matter®, an online legal practice management and time tracking application for small to mid-sized law firms. The benefits of Rocket Matter®, a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) application, include increased security, business continuity, decreased technology infrastructure and maintenance costs, and improved return on investment for information technology expenses. Launched in February 2008, Rocket Matter's corporate headquarters is in Boca Raton, FL.
About Total Attorneys, LLC
Total Attorneys is a managed service provider that helps small law firms and solo practitioners improve operations and grow their businesses. Total Attorneys offers a broad range of evolving services tailored to the needs of small law firms, including virtual law office technology, search engine marketing, a professional call center and customizable answering services. Founded in 2002, Total Attorneys now serves solo attorneys and small law firms across the United States. The company was ranked in the top five on the Crain's Chicago Fast Fifty lists for 2008 and 2009 and listed 169th and 219th on the 2008 and 2009 Inc. 5000 lists of fastest-growing private companies in the U.S.
Legal Cloud Computing Association