Electronic Discovery — Metadata

The ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility has opined that it is generally permissible under the Model Rules to peel metadata out of documents received electronically. (Formal Opinion 06-442: Review and Use of Metadata (August 5, 2006).) Note that state ethics rules, which often vary from the Model Rules, may impose other obligations. For example, the New York State Bar Association Committee on Professional Ethics has opined that N.Y. DR 4-101 essentially requires scrubbing of metadata before transmitting electronic documents to prevent the disclosure of metadata containing client confidences or secrets. (Opinion 782-12/8/04: Emailing Documents That May Contain Hidden Data Reflecting Client Confidences and Secrets). (GPJ)

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