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The president of the American Bar Association calls on the legal profession to stand up for equal rights and finally fulfill the promise of Brown v. Board of Education. That public school inequality persists, sixty years on, is unacceptable, the president says, urging lawyers to take up the unfinished business of that historic Supreme Court decision.
The University of Tennessee law professor volunteers a visionary model of the new solo practitioner, steeped in empowering technology while immersed in the sharing economy and deeply engaged in serving the greater good.
The former Minnesota Supreme Court chief justice and his law firm colleague make the case that the courts’ rush to replace staff with technology threatens to further close off access to justice for our least resourceful citizens not connected to the Internet. Court funders must recognize that short-term savings from personnel cuts are eclipsed by the daunting social and economic costs of a disabled justice system.
The chief reporter for the ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20 illuminates a number of new competencies that lawyers need to have in the twenty-first century. He argues that Luddite lawyers risk discipline, malpractice, or the loss of clients if they fail to adapt to the numerous ways in which technology is transforming the delivery of legal services.
Firms paying dearly to store mountains of old client files, ostensibly until the end of time, need a sensible records-retention plan, the resolve to clean house (finally), and a client-file ethics refresher before the culling and disposing can begin in earnest. Those 1970 lunch menus and 1950 pleadings buried in boxes may be eternally fascinating, yet needn’t be an eternal expense, in the form of monthly warehouse bills. But client files, even really dusty ones, must be handled prudently.
State ethics opinions on cloud technology look to lawyers with virtually no leverage to negotiate favorable data-security terms from giant cloud service providers, and to make promises to clients they can’t keep, in terms of handling or disposal of client data stored on the cloud. The author, a professor and data security expert, offers tips on avoiding cloud-related ethical violations, while suggesting it’s time for the states to consider lowering lawyer ethics expectations related to cloud security.