ABA issues guidance for lawyers on email protocols and reply all' use.

Byline: WISCONSIN LAW JOURNAL STAFF

The American Bar Association Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility has released a formal opinion that provides practical guidance to lawyers operating in an email world, cautioning them to generally refrain from including their clients when sending emails to opposing lawyers.

Formal Opinion 503explores communications and the scope of ABA Model Rule 4.2, which is commonly called the "no-contact" or "anticontact" rule and has been part of the ABAModel Rules of Professional Conductsince its inception in 1983.

The new formal opinion would not tag opposing lawyers with a violation of Rule 4.2 if they respond to a group email or text sent by the opposing counsel with a "reply all" even if that communication includes the opposing counsel's client.

"Absent special circumstances, lawyers who copy their clients on emails or other forms of electronic...

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