The American Bar Association (ABA) approved an important new resolution in August that requires lawyers to keep pace with “relevant technology” in order to comply with their obligation to competently represent clients. Although the resolution has largely flown under the radar, the change is significant because the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct (Model Rules) serve as a guide for the ethical rules governing lawyers in most states. Failure to comply with state ethics rules can lead to various penalties for lawyers, including temporary or permanent disbarment. That means in-house counsel need to understand the level of technological proficiency required to competently represent clients today and in the future.
Amended Model Rule 1.1 and the duty of competence