Technology: Ethics meets e-discovery

Courts are underscoring counsel’s duties in the areas of competence, confidentiality, candor and fairness

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.

Contributing Author

author image

John Cowling

John F. Cowling is an attorney in the St. Louis, Missouri office of Armstrong Teasdale.  He practices primarily in the areas of commercial litigation, environmental litigation...

Bio and more articles

Contributing Author

author image

Daniel Nelson

Daniel C. Nelson is a partner in the St. Louis Missouri office of Armstrong Teasdale. He works primarily in the area of commercial litigation, with a...

Bio and more articles

Join the Conversation

Advertisement. Closing in 15 seconds.