The Centre for Law, Technology and Society is delighted to announce that the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) just released Legal Ethics in a Digital Context, a new bilingual guide authored by Faculty members Dr. Amy Salyzyn and Dr. Florian Martin-Bartiteau that presents the new opportunities and risks that lawyers face in our current digital context.
The CBA’s Legal Ethics in a Digital Context guide aims to address the new opportunities and risks that lawyers face in our current digital context, when vast amounts of data can be stored and shared electronically, and new tools are continually emerging to empower lawyers and their clients in unprecedented ways.
As technology has become an important part of contemporary legal practice, lawyers should be able to recognize when using technology is needed to provide a legal service effectively and understand how to use technology responsibly and ethically. Embracing the use of relevant technological tools is no longer optional for Canadian lawyers. Restrictions and shifts in practice resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic has only heightened the need for lawyer technological competence.
Professional conduct rules both implicitly, and, in some cases, now explicitly, require lawyers to use technology competently. The purpose of the guide is to help lawyers productively and responsibly interact with technology in their legal practices. Areas of potential benefits and risks are identified, as well as best practices and further resources.
This document is also available in French.
This CBA guide was authored by Dr. Amy Salyzyn and Dr. Florian Martin-Bariteau, in collaboration with CBA Ethics and Professional Responsibility Subcommittee. Building on a previous version of a similar guide that hadn’t been updated in 6 years, the new version, from content to format, builds on comments and suggestions received by various stakeholders (including lawyers, law societies, legal malpractice insurers, and cybersecurity experts) who helped design the best practices, compliance recommendations and checklists.