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Technology Competence Hits the Tipping Point

Tuesday, January 3, 2017   (1 Comments)
Posted by: Mary Mack
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Over half of the states mandate technology competence according to Bob Ambrogi of Lawsites. Colorado, added to the list Bob is tracking, amended their ethical rules in April 2016.

As hacking and disclosure of documents hit the news on a daily basis, Colorado focuses on communications as an integral part of technology competence stating:

"To maintain the requisite knowledge and skill, a lawyer should keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, and changes in communications and other relevant technologies, engage in continuing study and education, and comply with all continuing legal education requirements to which the lawyer is subject. See Comments [18] and [19] to Rule 1.6. " (Emphasis added).

Colorado also upgraded its ethics rules to include considerations when outsourcing legal work to nonlawyers:

Nonlawyers Outside the Firm 

A lawyer may use nonlawyers outside the firm to assist the lawyer in rendering legal services to the client. Examples include the retention of an investigative or paraprofessional service, hiring a document management company to create and maintain a database for complex litigation, sending client documents to a third party for printing or scanning, and using an Internet-based service to store client information. When using such services outside the firm, a lawyer must make reasonable efforts to ensure that the services are provided in a manner that is compatible with the lawyer's professional obligations. The extent of this obligation will depend upon the circumstances, including the education, experience and reputation of the nonlawyer; the nature of the services involved; the terms of any arrangements concerning the protection of client information; and the legal and ethical environments of the jurisdictions in which the services will be performed, particularly with regard to confidentiality....



Patrick Cronin says...
Posted Thursday, January 5, 2017
While out-sourcing is not only necessary, but cost effective, I don't think that it relieves the attorney from the duty of understanding the underlying technology.

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