Ethics and Technology For the Solo Lawyer
By Megan Zavieh
Megan Zavieh focuses her practice on attorney ethics, representing attorneys facing state bar disciplinary action and providing guidance to practicing attorneys on questions of legal ethics. She has been representing attorneys facing disciplinary action before the California State Bar since 2009 and is admitted to practice in California, Georgia, New York and New Jersey, as well as in Federal District Court and the U.S. Supreme Court. She blogs at CaliforniaStateBarDefense.com and is a contributor at Lawyerist.com and AttorneyatWork.com.
Solo lawyers can be at a resource disadvantage vis a vis large firms, and two areas where this can be obvious are technology and ethics. We do not have dedicated IT departments or an ethics lawyer on staff, or army of junior associates to send off on ethics research questions. These two seemingly separate areas can intersect to cause real trouble.
We live in a device-heavy world of email, social media, Google, and electronic legal research. We rely on technology to learn about witnesses, judges, opposing counsel, and jurors; and to perform even our most rudimentary legal research such as pulling a case or Shepardizingâ¢. No competitive lawyer today can operate without the use of technology.