Make That 30 States, As Another Adopts Ethical Duty of Technology Competence

Just a week ago, I reported on the 29th state to have adopted the duty of technology competence, as part of my ongoing tally of states, and now there is the 30th to add: Kentucky.

The duty took effect on Jan. 1, 2018, having been adopted by the Supreme Court of Kentucky on Nov. 15, 2017 (Order 2017-18). Among a number of rules amendments, the order amended SCR 3.130(1.1), Kentucky’s corollary to ABA Model Rule 1.1 on competence, to add the same Comment 6 as the model rule:

Maintaining Competence

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.

The phrase I’ve italicized is the same as the language that the ABA recommended in 2012 when it approved a change to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct to make clear that lawyers have a duty to be competent not only in the law and its practice, but also in technology.

Here is the full list of states that have adopted the duty of technology competence.