The American Bar Association (ABA) promulgates the Model Rules for Professional Conduct (Model Rules), which prescribe the behavior with which lawyers must comply in demonstrating competency to practice law. In 2012, the ABA updated Comment 8 to Model Rule 1.1 to require maintaining competence in the “benefits and risks associated with relevant technology,” also known as a lawyer’s “duty of technological competence.” A decade later, the majority of state bar associations have adopted and implemented this language. Georgia, however, remains among the last ten states that have not yet formally adopted the duty of technological competence. The COVID-19 pandemic forced most legal work online, and judges, lawyers, and their clients adjusted to this new normal. With the drastic rise in remote work, no reasonable dispute remains as to whether lawyers should be subject to a duty of technological competence, although questions arise about how this duty should be defined post-pandemic.
This Note argues in favor of Georgia’s adoption of the duty of technological competence, proposes changes to the comments accompanying the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct, and provides practical advice for legal practitioners and their technology departments.
The Lawyer's Duty of Tech Competence Post-COVID: Why Georgia Needs a New Professional Rule Now—More Than Ever,
Ga. St. U. L. Rev.
Available at: https://readingroom.law.gsu.edu/gsulr/vol39/iss2/13