Virginia Becomes 18th State to Adopt Duty of Technology Competence

Just this morning, the Virginia Supreme Court entered an order making the Old Dominion the 18th state to adopt the duty of technology competence for lawyers. It will take effect on March 1, 2016.

(For the full list of states that have adopted the rule, see my earlier post.)

Today’s order amends Rule 1.1 of the rules of professional conduct to revise Comment 6 to the rule. The comment now reads (with my emphasis added:

To maintain the requisite knowledge and skill, a lawyer should engage in continuing study and education in the areas of practice in which the lawyer is engaged. Attention should be paid to the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology. The Mandatory Continuing Legal Education requirements of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia set the minimum standard fbI’ continuing study and education which a lawyer licensed and practicing in Virginia must satisfy. If a system of peer review has been established. the lawyer should consider making use of it in appropriate circumstances.

This differs from the ABA Model Rule, which says:

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.

In my continuing effort to tally the states that have adopted the duty of technology competence, the total is now 18.

[A huge tip of the hat to Sharon Nelson for alerting me to this.]