Oklahoma updates lawyer’s duty of competence to include tech-savviness (perhaps)

download-25On September 19, 2016, the Oklahoma Supreme Court amended the Oklahoma Rules of Professional Conduct. Among the other amendments, a specific duty to remain “tech-savvy” was introduced as part of lawyers’ duty of competency.

According to the approved text

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

The ORPC adopt the same content of Comment 8 to ABA Model Rule 1.1, which reads “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” (Emphasis added.).

However, the ORPC change the placement of the highlighted wording. Would this mean that in Oklahoma the tech competence requirement is limited to the duty included in a lawyer’s CLE requirements?

We are uncertain about the significance of the difference placement.

Order granting amendment to Rules of Professional Conduct is available at http://www.oscn.net…

For more information, Francesca Giannoni-Crystal.

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