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Don't let technology 'bite you in the backside' – ethically speaking

Daniel J Crothers, Ellyn S Rosen, and Grace Meredith Small

Rule 1.1 of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct (Competence) states that in order to maintain requisite skill and knowledge, lawyers should “keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology…” Many states are adopting this language, which resulted from the work of the ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20.

“Ethics and Technology: Avoiding Traps and Pitfalls,” the latest webinar in our Ethics Series, explores the technology related amendments to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct and how they fit with Model Rule 1.1 to help ensure that upon your entry into practice you can avoid any potential traps and pitfalls.

“We’re going to give you a kind of a quick and dirty highlight of a few areas where, in our experience, failing to pay attention to the basics can really end up biting a lawyer in the backside,” said Ellyn Rosen, ABA Center for Professional Responsibility Deputy Director and ABA Regulation Counsel. “Our goal is to highlight for you a few of those areas where that tends to happen so it doesn’t happen to you when you get into practice.”

It features a hypothetical information involving legal work, the cloud, and WiFi.


  • Justice Daniel J. Crothers, North Dakota Supreme Court
  • Ellyn Rosen, ABA Center for Professional Responsibility Deputy Director and ABA Regulation Counsel
  • Grace Meredith Small, Harvard Law School (Student Moderator)

The series is sponsored by the Law Student Division, the ABA Young Lawyers Division, and the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility.

You can also download the slides from the presentation as a PDF.