Friday, June 17, 2016

Technology, the Practice of Law & Professional Ethics

Back in 2012, the ABA adopted a new model rule for professional ethics that requires lawyers to be up to date on technology.  In particular, the ABA’s House of Delegates amended Comment 8 to Model Rule 1.1, which pertains to competence, to read as follows:

Maintaining Competence

To maintain the requisite knowledge and skill, a lawyer should keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology, engage in continuing study and education and comply with all continuing legal education requirements to which the lawyer is subject. (Emphasis added, text in italics represent amendments.)

Twenty-one states have now adopted the new rule,  

What does this mean for the education of lawyers?  Do lawyers know enough about the risks and benefits of technology?  Are lawyers using technology to make their work more effective and efficient for clients?  Do we know enough about the security risks to client data in our systems? And how can lawyers keep abreast of new developments so that they are in compliance with the new ethics rules?

I'd be interested in your thoughts.  Add comments below.

Bob Ambrosio continues to keep us up to date on technology and legal practice.  Thanks, Bob.

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