Zooming into a Malpractice Suit: Updating the Model Rules of Professional Conduct in Response to Socially Distanced Lawyering
29 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2021
Date Written: January 29, 2021
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
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