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This paper was submitted as part of the coursework for "Law Practice Technology" in the Spring semester of 2014.


We live in exciting times; technology is evolving quickly. The legal profession, however, has a history of begrudging and delayed acceptance of new technology. Attorneys may be slow to learn new tricks, but when it comes to metadata, the usual reactionary behavior could be harmful to clients. It is imperative that attorneys understand the ethical and evidentiary issues that arise when metadata is disclosed, mishandled, discovered, or destroyed. This paper explores these issues and recommends best practices to avoid inadvertent disclosures and ethical violations. The structure of this paper is as follows: first, metadata is defined and explained. Second, I will explain potential harm that metadata can cause. Third, issues of confidentiality, attorney-client privilege will be explored. Fourth, I will explore some of the evidentiary concerns regarding discovery and destruction of metadata. Finally, the conclusion will recommend best practices for new and experienced attorneys to avoid metadata missteps and manage metadata with confidence.

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