During a continuing legal education program sponsored earlier this month by the Florida Bar’s Appellate Practice Section, I addressed the topic of technological competence. In addition to touching on technology appellate practitioners must use under applicable rules of court, I walked through the relatively recent amendments to the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar that make technological competence a component of the duties to provide competent representation and to protect confidential information. The Florida amendments were prompted by the American Bar Association’s earlier amendment of the Model Rules of Professional Responsibility following extensive study by the ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20.
THIS article about Shutts & Bowen’s cybersecurity plan caught my eye not only because it followed my recent presentation on a similar topic but also because of the specific insight it offers about what law firms—especially larger firms—should be doing to protect themselves and the confidential information they hold. Security practices like those described in the article contribute to the establishment of an objectively verifiable standard of care. So, lawyers and law firms be forewarned: When hackers come hacking they may also open the door to professional liability.