February 14, 2013 Articles

Technology-Related Ethics Rules Changes Litigators Must Understand

New changes to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct take into account e-discovery challenges.

By Seth H. Row

At its August 2012 Annual Meeting, the American Bar Association approved a number of amendments to the ABA’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC) related to the increasing role of technology in legal practice and, specifically, litigation. Some of these rules bear directly on a litigator’s obligations in connection with electronic discovery. While none of the changes purport to establish any new obligations, they certainly highlight what have come to be regarded as “best practices” in law-practice risk management as well as litigation—in other words, although to be effective, these changes to the model rules will have to be adopted by individual states, the litigator will ignore these rules changes at his or her peril.

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