The Ethical Duty of Technology Competence: What It Means to Your Practice – C05

Ethics Track
Task Force on Technology and Business Model Changes

Session C: 1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

About the Program
In 2012, the ABA formally approved a change to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct to make clear that lawyers have a duty to be competent not only in the law and its practice, but also in technology. Since then, 31 states have adopted the duty of technology competence. But what does this mean in practice? What does the duty require of lawyers and what obligations to clients does it create?

 In this program, we will review the origins of the duty, discuss how it has been applied by courts and ethics panels, and offer guidance on what it means for lawyers, law firms, and clients.

 You Will Learn

  • The meaning and scope of the duty of technology competence
  • About cases and ethics opinions interpreting the scope and application of the duty
  • How to comply with the duty in your own practice
  • Practical tips on becoming and remaining technologically competent

Robert J. Ambrogi,, Law Office of Robert J. Ambrogi, Rockport, MA

Attorney Ambrogi is a lawyer and journalist who has been writing and speaking about legal technology and the Internet for two decades. He writes the award-winning blog LawSites and is a technology columnist for Above the Law, ABA Journal and Law Practice magazine. He cohosts the longest-running legal podcast, Lawyer2Lawyer, as well as the podcast Law Technology Now, both available through the Legal Talk Network.

Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of The National Law Journal and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division. Before joining ALM, he was with Boston-based Lawyers Weekly Publications, where he was founding editor of the national newspaper Lawyers USA and editor-in-chief of the company’s flagship newspaper, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.

A 1980 graduate of Boston College Law School, he is a fellow of the College of Law Practice Management and immediate past-president of the Massachusetts Bar Foundation. In 2011, Bob was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” In 2017, he received the Yankee Quill award for journalism from the Academy of New England Journalists.


1.0 CLE Credits (CT: 1.0 Ethics; NY:1.0 Ethics)