Zooming into a Malpractice Suit: Updating the Model Rules of Professional Conduct in Response to Socially Distanced Lawyering

29 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2021

See all articles by Ellen Platt

Ellen Platt

Texas Tech University, School of Law

Date Written: January 29, 2021

Abstract

There has been a significant increase in the use of videoconferencing platforms in the practice of law during the COVID-19 pandemic. These platforms have raised numerous ethical concerns based on shortcomings in the Model Rules of Professional Conduct. This Comment will argue that more meaningful guidance is needed under both Model Rule 1.1 and Model Rule 1.6 in order to effectively govern the ethical obligations of a lawyer who uses videoconferencing platforms or other electronic means of communication for virtual practice. Assistive guidance will help lawyers differentiate between ethical and unethical conduct in an area that potentially has serious ethical consequences if not adequately addressed. This Article will propose that the ABA is in the best position to provide meaningful guidance by adopting new comments elaborating on technology competence and reasonable efforts to safeguard client confidentiality.

Keywords: Model Rules, Videoconferencing, Legal ethics, ABA, Professional Responsibility

Suggested Citation

Platt, Ellen, Zooming into a Malpractice Suit: Updating the Model Rules of Professional Conduct in Response to Socially Distanced Lawyering (January 29, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3780249 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3780249

Ellen Platt (Contact Author)

Texas Tech University, School of Law ( email )

United States

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