Daniel Garrie, a general counsel and managing partner at Law and Forensics, has been writing a four-part series on Westlaw Insider regarding how attorneys can work with cloud based services. He said the cloud can offer great value to lawyers, but they must watch for hidden costs and security issues.

It's also important for lawyers to remember that the cloud can be upgraded or downgraded in features if something else is needed, such as more capacity for data. Upgrades could limit or eliminate types of data that could be used, he wrote, so attorneys must be cognizant of potential data "spoliation" risks when upgrading.

"Before adopting or deploying cloud based solutions for your enterprise, or for a specific litigation matter, client and counsel should carefully evaluate the issues discussed across this series of postings, including comprehensive conversations with the IT, business and legal units," he wrote on the website. "Otherwise, the company and the firm may be exposed to unanticipated and unnecessary risks and costs."

The American Bar Association's book "Cloud Computing For Lawyers" could be helpful for attorneys looking into cloud based services. The book addresses issues such as security, privacy, the risks and benefits of the cloud and the current state of the technology.