Is Gmail Making the Leap From the 'Unacceptable?'
Back in August, Esquire Magazine posted a series of "rules" that included this one:
Rule #1033. If your lawyer's email address ends in hotmail.com,
gmail.com or yahoo.com (or aol.com), find a new lawyer.
This prompted a flurry of discussion in this post on the Simple Justice blog (written by SHGLaw@aol.com, aka Scott Greenfield) and ultimately here on Legal Blog Watch as to the validity of Rule #1033.
As Carolyn Elefant wrote at the time,
I suppose that Hotmail, Yahoo or Gmail addresses suggest that a
lawyer is too cheap or lacking in tech savvy to set up an e-mail
account on his own firm's server. In addition, some have raised privacy concerns
about Gmail, which would presumably apply to the other services as
well. Questions about the confidentiality of a firm's e-mail might be
another reason for a client to avoid a lawyer using one of these
This week, however, proponents of Gmail as a serious and professional business email service received a boost when the the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to outsource
its entire e-mail system to Google. L.A. thus becomes the largest city in the
nation to make the move to Gmail, with Councilman Tony Cardenas calling it a "world-class decision today to support a state-of-the art e-mail
system." Not quite as certain was Councilman Paul Koretz, who said "it's unclear if this is cutting edge, or the edge of a cliff and we're about to step off."
This post on the Slaw.ca blog considers the impact on lawyers, noting that,
As lawyers, the security of our communications is critical. I can rely
on the infrastructure of a large firm to make sure all the necessary
security is in place. I wonder, however, when I receive e-mails from
someone using yahoo or gmail for professional purposes, whether that
security level has been assured. The stringent requirements that the
LAPD is sure to require may generate gains for everyone relying on
google for their e-mail.
A commenter on the Slaw.com post opined that using Google means more security, not less, writing that "Google is essentially a very, super large firm with a lot more
resources to dedicate to security etc. whereas a law firm, even a large
one, will at best have a small IT staff that operate a dedicated server
for the firm."
If other government bodies and organizations follow Los Angeles' lead, then it will not be long until Gmail.com completes the leap to being a widely respected email address.
Posted by Bruce Carton on October 30, 2009 at 02:52 PM | Permalink
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