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Meeting the Duty of Technology Competence

Updated: Oct 18, 2019

In 2012, the American Bar Association amended Comment 8 to the Model Rule of Professional Conduct 1.1 regarding Duty of Competence. The amendment was a strong statement to law firms and attorneys that they could no longer stick their heads in the sand when it came to technology competence. The Rule now reads:


The amendment to the rule came as no shock to the legal community and was even anticipated after the passing of the HITECH Act.

One-by-one, year-after-year, each state began to adopt the ABA amendment into their own Rules of Professional Conduct, and by the end of 2013, three states (Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Mexico) had adopted the amended Rule. However, by the end of 2014, that number more than doubled at 10 States. Currently, 37 States have adopted the amended Rule.

Nonetheless, many attorneys and paralegals continue to struggle with emerging technology and increased security concerns facing their law firms today. The big question we must be ask ourselves over and over again is:

"What precautions am I taking to protect the integrity of my firm's data, and more importantly, my client's data?"

One of my biggest passions is showing attorneys and paralegals technology that allows them to work from anywhere. However, working from anywhere doesn't mean abandoning best security practices and foregoing secure connections. This is why I recommend accessing private data securely by using no less than two-factor authentication and your phone's cellular data mobile hotspot or a personal mobile WiFi hotspot. Sorry folks, the WiFi at Starbucks is not secure.

Here are a few WiFi hotspots I recommend. I personally use the Verizon Wireless Jetpack 8800L, 4G LTE:

Of course, most will think all of this security and two-factor authentication stuff is a pain in the butt? Yes, it is! However, it is absolutely necessary to secure your private data and your client's private data?

Need more help with your technology? Here is a list of 5 sites that could help you gain the technology confidence, and perhaps CLE credits, you need.


Need one-on-one assistance with technology and security? Contact me today for a free consultation about technology you can incorporate to secure your data and even streamline your job.

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