Supreme Court Justice Daniel J. Crothers Appointed to ABA Cybersecurity Panel

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News Article

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School of Law


American Bar Association President Laurel Bellows has appointed Justice Daniel Crothers to the ABA's Cybersecurity Legal Task Force.

Crothers is one of approximately 25 members appointed nationwide to conduct the Associations one year investigation into how lawyers, courts and the country can better prepare for growing threats to loss and misuse of computer created and stored information.

Cybersecurity is fast becoming one of the most important issues facing North Dakota and the Nation. "The vast majority of information now is electronically created and electronically stored. Unlike papers and tangible things located in one place, the same electronically stored information can be and often is stored in many places. More importantly, most electronically stored information is accessible via the internet—of course resulting in information being available anywhere in the world where there is a connection. It is that extended access which allows for widespread misappropriation of the information." States Crothers.

It appears that the United States across the board is behind where it should be in protecting digital assets. Even though highly regulated industries such as finance and medicine have been working to secure their digital data, hacking still occurs. "In the face of the heightened efforts by some," Crothers says, "hackers also have turned to what they often find are softer targets such as the vendors and professionals, including lawyers and accountants, who work with the sophisticated companies."

The 25 member task force will focus on several guidebooks and handbooks to help attorneys wade through the process of securing client and other confidential information. Crothers says, "I am working in conjunction with others from the ABA's Center for Professional Responsibly to ensure guidance to lawyers contains a balanced approach for protecting information and working with governmental agencies that investigate intrusions, while maintaining the lawyer's professional obligations to be competent, diligent, communicate with clients and maintain confidentiality." Crothers's goal is to help all attorneys, from solo practitioners to major corporations, make strides forward in protecting their client's personal and confidential information, as well as their firm's electronic assets.

Justice Crothers joined the North Dakota Supreme Court in 2007 and was recently re-elected to a ten year term. He is a member of the University of North Dakota School of Law class of 1982.