The duty of technology competence in the algorithmic society

Comment 8 to Model Rule 1.1: Maintaining Competence

To maintain the requisite knowledge and skill, a lawyer should keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology, engage in continuing study and education and comply with all continuing legal education requirements to which the lawyer is subject.

From the abstract of Jamie Baker’s Beyond the Information Age: The Duty of Technology Competence in the Algorithmic Society, 69 South Carolina Law Review ___ 92018):

While law has generally been slow to adapt to technological change, the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct amended the Duty of Competence language to include a Duty of Technology Competence. This duty requires lawyers to keep abreast of “changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology.” A majority of states have now adopted this new Duty of Technology Competence, but there is little guidance on its current reach. The guidance documents mainly discuss the duty in terms of eDiscovery, electronic storage, social media, and the cloud. As society moves beyond the Information Age to the Algorithmic Society, this duty should extend to the competent use of artificial intelligence and algorithms in law. As such, it behooves the legal academy to prepare lawyers for ethical practice in this brave new world.

Recommended. — Joe

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