Competency in the practice of law clearly means you must keep abreast of changes in substantive and procedural law in the representation of your clients.
Supreme Court Rule 1.1 demands “legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness and preparation reasonably necessary for the representation” of your clients. Just as rules change, statutes are amended and cases continue to interpret them, the role of technology brings various benefits and risks to the law and its practice — often at an exponential rate.
Tech Competency Required
In 2012, the American Bar Association modified Comment 8 to its Model “Competence” Rule 1.1 to require lawyers to “keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology.” More than 20 states, including Illinois as of Jan. 1, have adopted this “technology competency” requirement. While such a requirement includes a working knowledge of the scope of e-discovery or using electronic resources for legal research, it also means having and maintaining an understanding of technology in general. At the same time, Illinois was taking this significant step forward to expand on the demands of competency for its lawyers, it further and firmly planted its mandatory application of technology into its rule for the manner of serving documents other than process and complaints on parties not in default in the trial and reviewing courts. E-mail service changed from an optional, opt-in method of service under Rule 11, to one of the standalone options for delivering documents as of Jan. 1.
Mandatory Acceptance of Email Service to Attorneys
Now, in accordance with Supreme Court Rule 131(d)(1), attorneys filing or serving documents in any cause must include an e-mail address on the document. This includes filings made in Illinois appellate courts (also see Rules 341(e) and 367(d)).
READ MORE Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, Published Wednesday August 31, 2016 Volume 162, No 171