I have been tracking here the states that have adopted the ethical duty of technology competence for lawyers. I have just learned of one more state that has adopted the duty. That brings the total number of states to 21.

The latest state is North Dakota, where the Supreme Court ordered adoption effective March 1, 2016, of an amendment to Rule 1.1 of the North Dakota Rules of Professional Conduct. The amendment to the rule on maintaining competence adds the phrase adopted by the ABA in 2012 in Model Rule 1.1, Comment 8. In North Dakota, the comment is number 5 and reads:

To maintain the requisite knowledge and skill, a lawyer must 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.

The amendment added the italicized phrase, which is identical to the phrase in the Model Rule.

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

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Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.