Colorado Ethics Bar Metadata Opinion

The Colorado Bar’s Ethics Committee decided that ethics rules permit a Colorado lawyer to search for and review metadata embedded in an electronic document received from opposing counsel or a third party unless the lawyer was notified before reviewing the document that confidential information was inadvertently transmitted.

The burden, then, of protecting any sensitive metadata rests with sending lawyers, not with the receiving lawyers.  The full text of the opinion is available at the CBA’s Ethics website.  Prof. Andrew Perlman, of my alma mater Suffolk Law, has a good summary of the case and a look at other metadata ethics decisions in the U.S. at the Legal Ethics Forum Blog .

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