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If You Never “Met-a” Data You Didn’t Like, You May Be Acting Unethically

by Carolyn Elefant on February 1, 2006 · 12 comments

in Ethics & Malpractice Issues, Law Practice Management, Security

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Jim Calloway has a terrific round up post on the ethics of lawyers accessing meta data. Jim starts by explaining what meta data is (it’s basically data about data, embedded in your documents) and how to access it.  He then cites the various views on meta data, on the one hand, the Florida Bar’s initial opinion that mining meta is unethical and comments from the blogosphere that take an opposing view (in fact, apparently Jim’s home state isn’t adverse to using meta data, Jim point out that “[mining meta data] is unethical in Florida and we’re teaching it in Oklahoma [at a course on e-discovery].

From what I can tell, lawyers, at least in my neck of the woods, have caught on to this problem.  I do check meta data in documents (I can admit that since I don’t practice in Florida) – and I’ve noticed that documents that I’ve received in the past few months have been cleansed.   Based on this, it seems that Jim’s sensible approach of “focus[ing] on not sending out
metadata rather than enacting new ethical rules”  is already working.

  • Eric Assouline, Esq.

    Dear Carolyn:
    I just read your article on meta-data and I found it interesting. I just filed a brief in federal court in Florida asking for permission to mine meta-data of an adversary to determine that their pleadings are being ghost-written. This seems like a very hot area of the law.
    Thanks for the article.
    Eric N. Assouline
    ASSOULINE & BERLOWE, P.A.
    ATTORNEYS AT LAW
    213 E. Sheridan Street, Suite 3
    Dania Beach, Florida 33004
    Telephone: 954-929-1899
    Facsimile: 954-922-6662
    http://www.assoulineberlowe.com
    With Additional Offices at:
    3250 Mary Street, Suite 308
    Miami, Florida 33133
    Telephone: 305-567-5576
    Facsimile: 305-567-9343

  • Eric Assouline, Esq.

    Dear Carolyn:
    I just read your article on meta-data and I found it interesting. I just filed a brief in federal court in Florida asking for permission to mine meta-data of an adversary to determine that their pleadings are being ghost-written. This seems like a very hot area of the law.
    Thanks for the article.
    Eric N. Assouline
    ASSOULINE & BERLOWE, P.A.
    ATTORNEYS AT LAW
    213 E. Sheridan Street, Suite 3
    Dania Beach, Florida 33004
    Telephone: 954-929-1899
    Facsimile: 954-922-6662
    http://www.assoulineberlowe.com
    With Additional Offices at:
    3250 Mary Street, Suite 308
    Miami, Florida 33133
    Telephone: 305-567-5576
    Facsimile: 305-567-9343

  • http://www.whataboutclients.com/archives/2006/02/meta_data_prime.html What About Clients?

    Metadata Primers: Mysteries, Magic and Pitfalls.

    Jim Calloway at his Law Practice Tips Blog has an instructive and important post and Carolyn Elefant at My Shingle has an equally thoughtful post on metadata. These are both an alert and a call to arms of sorts. And…

  • http://www.whataboutclients.com/archives/2006/02/meta_data_prime.html What About Clients?

    Metadata Primers: Mysteries, Magic and Pitfalls.

    Jim Calloway at his Law Practice Tips Blog has an instructive and important post and Carolyn Elefant at My Shingle has an equally thoughtful post on metadata. These are both an alert and a call to arms of sorts. And…

  • http://www.whataboutclients.com/archives/2006/02/meta_data_prime.html What About Clients?

    Metadata Primers: Mysteries, Magic and Pitfalls.

    Jim Calloway at his Law Practice Tips Blog has an instructive and important post and Carolyn Elefant at My Shingle has an equally thoughtful post on metadata. These are both an alert and a call to arms of sorts. And…

  • http://www.whataboutclients.com/archives/2006/02/meta_data_prime.html What About Clients?

    Metadata Primers: Mysteries, Magic and Pitfalls.

    Jim Calloway at his Law Practice Tips Blog has an instructive and important post and Carolyn Elefant at My Shingle has an equally thoughtful post on metadata. These are both an alert and a call to arms of sorts. And…

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