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New Technologies Make for a Shifting Definition of ‘Technical Competence’

While new and/or improving technologies may be challenging, they likely also present new opportunities which can facilitate delivering the best services at the best cost. Some solutions can be handled directly by law firms — but others will require the courts to approve, and, perhaps, even change of procedures to get with the times.

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In 2012, the ABA amended Comment 8 to Model Rule of Professional Conduct 1.1 (Lawyers Duty of Competence) to address technology competency. The comment now reads: To maintain the requisite knowledge and skill, a lawyer shall keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology … (emphasis added).

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