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Recommendations from the 
ABA Tech2000 Task Force

These Recommendations were taken from a Power Point Presentation to the American Bar Association.  The Recommendations were based on findings of the Tech2000 Task Force.  Points of view expressed herein do not necessarily represent the official positions or policies of the American Bar Association. The Mission of the Tech2000 Task Force “is to assist attorneys and the organized bar to identify and use technology to meet the needs of moderate-income individuals and families”.  The Task Force was established by ABA President William Paul in March, 1999.

American Bar Association  
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1.       Rule Modification

The ABA should fund an entity to review existing ethical rules to identify rules that impede the use of Internet technology.  The goal is to use the Internet technology to deliver legal services to low and moderate-income persons.  The entity should submit appropriate recommendations, consistent with the core values of the profession, to the appropriate rule-making authorities.

2.       Rule Interpretation

The President of the ABA should designate an appropriate entity to engage state rule making and rule enforcement authorities to insure that interpretations and enforcement of the rules do not impede innovation of new technology.  The President of the ABA should convene a multi-state (virtual and live) conference of the state bar ethics policy makers and disciplinary officers, NOBC, NCBP to encourage Internet delivery of legal services and information.

3.      Safe Harbor Rules

The President of the ABA should designate an appropriate entity to facilitate the immediate creation of Safe Harbor Rules to facilitate technical and practice innovation.  The Rules should facilitate while at the same time protect consumers, lawyers, and providers.

4.      Collaboration

The President of the ABA should delegate to an appropriate entity the responsibility to develop collaborative relationships between non-profit organizations and entities engaged in electronic commerce and services, with a particular focus on those engaged in the delivery of legal services over the Internet.

5.      Electronic Standards (XML)

The President of the ABA should designate an appropriate entity to play an active role in developing ad sponsoring the Legal XML Standard.  The ABA will encourage the use of the Standard among its members, private industry, courts, and government agencies.  The ABA will adopt this Standard for all ABA publications.

6.      Low Cost Tools

To improve law practice efficiency and enable lawyers to provide better legal services, the President of the ABA should designate an appropriate entity to facilitate private sector development of low-cost, comprehensive Internet practice tools for lawyers.  These tools should be especially targeted at small and solo practitioners.

 7.      Stamp of Approval

The President of the ABA should delegate to an appropriate entity the responsibility to establish standards and policies for e-law sites and provide ABA “stamp of approval” for e-law sites.  Such standards should include, but not be limited to; privacy, disclosures, disclaimers, confidentiality, due diligence, security, consumer information, and consistency of business models with professional norms.

 8.      Technological Competency

The President of the ABA should designate an appropriate entity to revise the MacCrate Report’s Statement of Fundamental Lawyering Skills and Values, to reflect new technological advances and interdisciplinary developments as standards of lawyer competency.