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ABA Ethics 20/20 Commission Hearing to Explore Impact of Technology on Client Confidences, Lawyers’ Use of Internet to Develop Business

Prospective Witnesses Should Register Now to Testify Oct.14 in Chicago

CHICAGO, Sept. 28, 2010—The _ Commission on Ethics 20/20 is inviting interested persons to register now to testify at an Oct. 14 public hearing in Chicago, set to explore the impact of technology on client confidences and lawyers’ use of Internet-based tools for client development.

While witnesses are free to raise other issues as well, the commission has issued two issues papers identifying areas it expects to explore in oral testimony or written comment.  One explores implications for client confidentiality raised by lawyers’ use of such technological tools as cloud computing, while the other raises issues created by lawyers’ use of the Internet for client development.  The hearing will be 2 to 5 p.m. Oct. 14 in the Board Rooms of the _ headquarters at 321 N. Clark St., Chicago.  Each witness will be limited to 5-minute presentations, and commissioners will have up to an additional five minutes to ask questions.

The commission was created by immediate past ABA President Carolyn B. Lamm in 2009 to perform a thorough review of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct and the U.S. system of lawyer regulation in the context of advances in technology and global legal practice developments.  It is conducting a series of public hearings, as well as gathering written comment and research, and may recommend amendments to the model rules or new regulatory policies at the culmination of its work in 2012.

Each of the papers raises questions and invites comment on whether the ABA should issue guidance to the legal profession on how to address the issues, and if so, whether the guidance should be in the form of a white paper or should instead be through amending its policies, such as its Model Rules of Professional Conduct.

Persons wishing to testify at the hearing should contact Kimley Grant at or at 312/988-5319 no later than Oct. 4, providing an outline of their anticipated remarks with citations to relevant resources.  Individuals unable to testify in person still are welcome to file written comment no later than Dec. 15.  Written comment should be submitted to Natalia Vera at .  Outlines or written comment may also be submitted to Ms. Grant by U.S. mail to the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility, 15th Floor, 321 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60654

With nearly 400,000 members, the _ is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world.  As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.

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