Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Reality bytes: A reminder of the new ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct amendments

It might be scary for some of you, or you might maintain that “it is written” equals books & hard copy…. We’re sorry.

It’s not joke, but, as G.M. Filisoko wrote in the April 1st. 2013 issue of the ABA Journal, “No excuses, attorneys. It’s time to add boning up on the latest technology to your to-do list., and that’s the only way to fulfill the requirements of six resolutions the ABA House of Delegates adopted almost a year ago now last August to amend the association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct.

“Among every lawyer’s new duties: keeping up with technology relevant to the client and the representation, and protecting electronically stored confidential client information. Seems straight-forward enough, but it’ll almost certainly require more of your brain’s daily bandwidth…. George Paul, a partner at Lewis & Roca in Phoenix and co-chair of the ABA E-Discovery and Digital Evidence Committee told Filisoko that ‘your duty wouldn’t stop at your practice’s borders. You must also track how technology is revolutionizing the economy.

Circle your wagons if you must, but don’t unhitch the mule. Help is out there, and it's not a totally impossible task. The ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20 has the model rule amendments and other helpful information are on its website, but they’re the signposts & guidelines. The article mentioned above can help.

Local bar associations are often putting together programs to assist, such as the Cincinnati Bar Association’s Paperless CLE Initiative here, which was started just this month.

Law schools and libraries around the nation are beginning to put together pathfinders or library guides, such as this one from Pace Law Library, to help guide you in your quest.

It’s also good to keep in mind that the whole thing’s still fluid. Law.com’s Law Technology News last week carried an article about the International Legal Technology Association’s having launched the "ILTA Legal Technology Future Horizons — Transformational Forces Project,” a core component of which will be a global research study conducted in partnership with Fast Future Research Ltd., which will explore the "potential impact of new and emerging technologies for law firms and the resulting strategic priorities over the next 10-15 years.” Key study findings and recommendations there, according to the article, are going to be delivered through interim updates, with the final report, an executive briefing and a keynote speech scheduled for ILTA's Insight 2013 conference in London on November 14, 2013.

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