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Lawyer Ethics and Texting (12:00 Noon Central Time)

Total Credits: 1 including 1 CLE, 1 Ethics

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Thomas E. Spahn
Original Program Date:
Oct 23, 2023
Never expires.


Text messaging has become a mainstream form of communication.  Clients now routinely text their lawyers about pending matters.  They may ask about the status of a case, provide facts about a case, communicate decisions to a lawyer, or message other sensitive information.  These messages are often to a lawyer’s mobile phone that is used extensively for personal purposes, unsecured in their transmissions, and easily accessible by third parties. This new wave of lawyer-client communication raises many difficult ethical questions, including preservation of the attorney-client privilege.   This program will provide you with a guide to the major ethics issues when lawyers and their clients text message about pending matters.


•    Confidentiality issues involving unsecured transmission of texts involving sensitive case issues
•    How to handle mobile phones used for both personal purposes and law practice
•    Potential loss of the attorney-client privilege when text messages are accessible by third parties
•    Tension among the duties of competence, prudence and to communicate with clients
•    Understanding the ethical risks and counseling clients about the risks to their case when texting



Thomas E. Spahn Related Seminars and Products

McGuireWoods, LLP

Thomas E. Spahn is a partner in the McLean, Virginia office of McGuireWoods, LLP, where he has a substantial practice advising clients on properly creating and preserving the attorney-client privilege and work product protections.  For more than 30 years he has lectured extensively on legal ethics and professionalism and has written “The Attorney-Client Privilege and the Work Product Doctrine: A Practitioner’s Guide,” a 750 page treatise published by the Virginia Law Foundation.  Mr. Spahn has served as a member of the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility and as a member of the Virginia State Bar's Legal Ethics Committee.