Can a lawyer today be “competent” and not technologically proficient?

The State Bar of California is revising is rules of professional conduct, the catalyst being the massive revisions recently made by the American Bar Association.

One of these rules, Rule 1.1 (formerly 3-110), pertains to the definition of “competence.”  There is no reference in the definition to technology

Years ago, a comment to the American Bar Association’s  Model Rules of Professional Conduct said that lawyers’ competency included a judgment as to whether his/her skills with technology met the standards in effect in the geographic or practice area standards of her/his community … in other words, the lawyer had to have "average" technology skills when compared to others, could not be a technology ludite.  In later versions of the rule, the ABA dropped reference to technology competence.

I don’t know whether any State’s rules of professional conduct includes reference to technology. But, it seems to me that in this day and age they should.


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