ABA Model Rule 1.1 states that a lawyer shall provide competent representation to a client. While this duty has existed for a while, the more recent addition of Comment 8 to Rule 1.1 makes it essential for lawyers to “keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology[.]” This demands a shift in the way lawyers approach their understanding and use of technology in their legal practices.
Joining me today to discuss the intersection of technology and ethics is Ivy Grey, bankruptcy attorney, legal tech writer, and creator of American Legal Style for PerfectIt, which is a legal specific proofreading program for lawyers that runs within Microsoft Word.
What You’ll Learn in This Episode:
- What ABA Model Rule 1.1, specifically comment 8, requires of lawyers
- Why it is no longer efficient or even acceptable for lawyers to be luddites
- What the ABA Model Rule 1.1, Comment 5 add to the discussion?
- What does it mean to be “competent” according to the Model Rules?
- Even if you’re delegating work to your staff or junior attorneys, are you still required to be competent?
- What are the six basic technological areas that help lawyers perform their work competently?
- What are some ethical failings of not understanding the basics of using technology?
- Being technologically competent doesn’t require you to code or understand blockchain
- The role that understanding the basics of technologies plays in helping you understand the substance of your clients’ cases
- If you choose to manually perform work that can be automated, you might be in an ethical grey area, according to the ABA Model Rules 1.5
- What Model Rules 5.1 and 5.3 require of you when it comes to ethical supervision and delegation
- How does the duty of competence govern your interactions with third party vendors, like website developers?
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