The Digital Edge

The Lawyer’s Duty of Technology Competence

March 10, 201625 min
In 2009, the American Bar Association created the Commission on Ethics 20/20 to examine in depth how changes in technology affect the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct. The commission made many recommendations and, most notably, the ABA modified Rule 1.1 regarding lawyer competence. In the new version, Rule 1.1 Comment 8 reads “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...” But what does it really mean to be competent in technology as a lawyer?
In this episode of The Digital Edge, Jim Calloway interviews lawyer and legal technology blogger/podcaster Bob Ambrogi about the lawyer’s duty of technology competence, how it applies to discovery and confidentiality, and how technology can really benefit lawyers too.
Topics include:

Tech duty: regulatory burden versus the reality of practicing law today
State bars that have adopted the ABA rule change
Implications of the California eDiscovery Ethics Opinion
Relevant technology and knowing what you don’t know
Getting up to speed on encryption
eDiscovery and knowing how to collect, preserve, and search data properly
How to effectively contract out competence
The duty to supervise
Benefits of technology in practice management

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