Your supervising attorney receives an e-mail from opposing counsel containing a settlement agreement. The document is quite short, so the attorney wonders how long it took to draft it. The attorney clicks on the properties tab and sees the document was open on opposing counsel’s computer for 3 hours. The attorney opens the metadata scrubber utility on his computer. In a few moments, he is reviewing the revision history of the document. It looks like several documents were combined and then a lot of deletions were made at the end. The attorney pulls up a large block of deleted text and begins to read, “Notes: client is desperate to recover anything and not face damaging publicity if she receives nothing at trial. Offer $300K but get it settled before the end of the month no matter what.” The attorney wonders what he should do with this new information.
Please answer the following questions with supporting information from bar associations’ ethics opinions, rules, and/or guidelines:
Was it appropriate for the attorney to examine the document’s metadata? Why or why not?
When the attorney became aware that the document he received contained revealing metadata, what should he do in response?
Is the attorney required to either disregard the document with metadata or reveal the discovery to opposing counsel immediately? Why or why not?
There is a 2-page minimum requirement for this assignment.
You may find useful information at these links:
American Bar Association: http://www.americanbar.org/groups/departments_offices/legal_technology_resources/resources/charts_fyis/metadatachart.html
Student was able to articulate whether it is appropriate for the firm’s attorney to examine the personal notes of the metadata of a document received from an opposing attorney.
Student was able to articulate what the firm’s attorney action should be when he/she became aware that the document received contained revealing metadata.
Student supported his/her position with research.
Overall length meets the 2 page length requirement.
Format meets APA guidelines and Bluebook rules as appropriate, including use of title pages. There is no playful experimentation with fancy fonts.
It is written for the appropriate audience.
Writing shows internal citations in the body of the text as well as a proper list of references at the end of the paper, following APA or Bluebook citation as appropriate.
Citations appear consistently where needed, whether following quoted or paraphrased material in the text.
Note: Failure to provide citation in the paper does not result in a deduction of 15% from the paper, but will result in a failed paper and a plagiarism investigation.