Butzel Long attorney Claudia Rast appointed to co-chair ABA Cybersecurity Legal Task Force


ANN ARBOR, Mich. –  Butzel Long attorney and shareholder Claudia Rast has been appointed co-chair of the American Bar Association (ABA) Cybersecurity Legal Task Force. To date, she has served six one-year terms since this Task Force was created in 2012.

The Task Force unites representatives from 25 ABA entities with cybersecurity expertise and leaders from the public, private, and technical sectors. From this cross-disciplinary vantage point, the Task Force identifies, compiles, creates, and promotes cybersecurity resources; focuses and coordinates the ABA’s analyses and assessments of cybersecurity proposals; leads projects and spotlights ABA cybersecurity initiatives; and undertakes a wide range of publishing, programming, and outreach.

Notably, Rast is a co-author of a book to be published this year titled, “Cyber Incident Response Handbook: A Resource for Attorneys, Law Firms, and Business Professionals.” In 2017, she co-authored a chapter to the second edition of The ABA Cybersecurity Handbook, which is heading for its third update and edition in 2021.

Rast, who chairs Butzel Long’s Intellectual Property, Cybersecurity and Emerging Technology Practice Department, blends her expertise in law, business, and science to assist companies in their strategic use of technology, counseling clients in the areas of privacy, cybersecurity, data security and governance, intellectual property licensing and registration, and the forensic preservation and analysis of electronically stored information.

With the rise of cyber events, and the vulnerability of business as their workforce connects from home in response to COVID-19, her background in forensics, IT environments and security has proved invaluable to both defend against and respond to cyber attacks and to conduct cybersecurity awareness and response training sessions.

Similarly, over the past several years, she has worked within both the IT entrepreneur community and the automotive supplier network to negotiate contracts covering innovative technologies associated with autonomous and connected vehicles, addressing security, privacy, IP ownership, and to the impacts of new laws and regulations, ranging from the General Data Protection Regulation in the EU to the California Consumer Privacy Act.

At the same time, Rast is an experienced environmental lawyer, focusing on alternative energy and sustainability practices, including work on the development of a global Rule of Law Index for environment and energy with the World Justice Project.  In 2019, she moderated an environmental rule of law panel at The Hague sponsored by the World Justice Forum.

She is a frequent national speaker on matters ranging from cybersecurity, privacy, and data governance. In addition, she has published numerous articles including an online privacy course for CPA’s to receive CPE credit.

Rast’s memberships include the American Bar Association's Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, where she has been involved in the leadership of the Section since 1999, including Chair of the Section in 2008-2009, Ann Arbor's New Enterprise Forum Board of Directors (2008-2017), the Michigan League of Conservation Voters Board of Directors (2008-2013), ICLE's Technology Training Advisory Board (1998-2017), and the Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan Board of Directors (2017-present). In 2001, she was the only lawyer named as a Technology Industry Leader in Crain's Detroit Business, and in 2003 the Ann Arbor Chapter of American Women in Computing named her as one of twenty "Top Michigan Women in Computing." In 2015, she was named by Michigan Lawyers Weekly as a “Leader in the Law.”

Rast is a graduate of the University of Michigan (B.S., Natural Resources) and cum laude graduate of the University of Detroit School of Law, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the University of Detroit Law Review. In 2014, she successfully completed the four-week online program, "Tackling the Challenges of Big Data," developed and taught by the faculty of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory in collaboration with MIT Professional Education.

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