Technology Competence is an Ethical Duty and a Job Requirement for Lawyers


It's a rarity in my practice these days, but I still run into a handful of attorneys who aren't comfortable with technology. And when I say "technology," I'm not talking about whether they'd feel comfortable doing patent prosecution for a biotech or for R&D company working on optics. I'm talking about the handful of attorneys out there who still don't feel comfortable using Microsoft Office, smart phones, using online research tools, filing pleadings online, or even basic e-commerce. (Yes, I'm thinking about you, Mr. Lawyer who confidently declared PayPal to be "too elaborate" and Mr. Attorney who did not know how to attach a document to an email.)

Well, the rest of the legal world has long ago put aside Sheparding via paper and CD-ROMs, and state supreme courts are continuing the steady march of adding technology competence to their ethical rules by adopting the American Bar Association's (ABA) Model Rules of Professional Conduct. Just what does "technology competence" mean?

Learn more at an upcoming, free webinar, "The Duty of Technology Competence," hosted by legal technology and e-discovery company Catalyst Repository Systems. The webinar will feature well known lawyer, legal journalist, and blogger Robert Ambrogi, We all know that lawyers tend to be late adopters of technology, but those who continue to lag behind are risking unemployment. Not surprisingly, the lawyers in my above examples were sole practitioners. Because they were unable to function in a modern workplace -- because they could not understand the challenges faced by employers who operate in today's world -- they were essentially unemployable. And now they risk violating ethical rules of conduct as well.

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