December 13, 2018 technology

Technology, Ethics, and Avoiding Sanctions

The ethical mandate to be knowledgeable about and use technology.

By Julia Voss and David Simmons

The available litigation technologies are moving at a rapid pace, and while the law and ethics rules typically lag behind technological innovations, the rules of professional conduct in several jurisdictions are catching up.

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Though certain software platforms for legal document review, like technology-assisted review (TAR or “predictive coding”) may seem too technical for everyday practice, or like something that is only needed in large, complex cases, courts routinely accept—and even assume—their use in all types of litigation. Many lawyers would rather not invest the (perceived) time and money into learning how to use a document review platform capable of running these complicated algorithms. These technologies, however, are being used in numerous cases nationwide, and an attorney’s failure to learn and use them could land the attorney in ethical hot water in some circumstances.

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