Recent developments in e-discovery put more burden on counsel and implicate the rules of ethics for lawyers. The explosion of electronic files in discovery has caused courts to become more active in affirming and enforcing the duties of counsel in four areas: competence, confidentiality, candor toward the tribunal and fairness.
Competence: The ABA Model Rule of Professional Conduct 1.1 requires that lawyers provide competent representation to a client. Competent representation requires the legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness and preparation reasonably necessary for the representation. “Reasonable” or “reasonably,” when used in relation to conduct by a lawyer, denotes the conduct of a reasonably prudent and competent lawyer.