Tom Smedinghoff, partner in Edwards Wildman
’s Chicago office, discussed how client communications and data at a host of law firms may be vulnerable to prying eyes in Law360. In the article, “NSA Spying Leaves Law Firms Vulnerable To Litigation
,” Smedinghoff said, “When it comes to the NSA, their capabilities to intercept or otherwise obtain confidential data vastly exceeds most hackers' abilities or the defensive capabilities of most businesses. I think the question when it comes to potential liability would be, 'Have you provided reasonable security as required by rules of ethics, applicable data security laws and regulations, and any contract you might have with the client?'” Furthermore, “It is difficult to see how there could be claims or regulatory actions against law firms under these circumstances. If heads of states, other governments and major tech companies cannot adequately protect against such events, how can law firms? Even reasonable security precautions, it appears, would not be adequate."