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Exploring the Ethical Duty of Technology Competence Part II: Incompetent Use of Basic Technology Leads to Unreasonable and Unethical Fees

(180 Ratings)

Produced on: August 24, 2017

Course Format On Demand Audio

Taught by


Course Description

Time 65 minutes
Difficulty Beginner
This program, taught by Ivy B. Grey, author of American Legal Style for PerfectIt by Intelligent Editing Ltd and Senior Attorney at Griffin Hamersky LLP, will address how the duty of technology competence relates to the duty to bill reasonably. 

This is Part II of a two-part program that, together, will address (1) the duty of technology competence as it relates to technology used in practice generally (Model Rule 1.1); (2) the duty to train and how it relates to the technology mandate (Model Rule 5.1); and (3) the issue of lawyers' refusal to embrace technology and how such refusal can become an ethical issue, and lead to overbilling clients (Model Rule 1.5). 

This program will focus on the practical effects of failing to meet the duty of technology competence. Practical issues include overbilling clients for work that would have been done better and faster by using technology appropriately. Examples and discussion will focus on use of MS Word in legal practice because it is a basic technology tool that nearly all lawyers will use, regardless of practice area.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Discuss the duty of technology competence and its requirements
  2. Uncover how incompetent use of basic office software may have more implications beyond technology competence, and may lead to overbilling clients
  3. Introduce the concept of ethical fading and how it allows people to make unethical business decisions
  4. Address how ethical fading and the billable hour model blind lawyers to broader ethical implications related to technology
  5. Demonstrate the importance of properly using MS Word to deliver legal services and guide lawyers to developing those skills


Ivy B. Grey

Griffin Hamersky LLP

Ivy B. Grey focuses her practice on bankruptcy and distressed transactions. Her corporate bankruptcy experience includes representing corporate debtors, creditor committees, institutional creditors, strategic buyers, hedge funds, and distressed debt investors in Chapter 11 cases.  She has sophisticated experience with real estate, equipment financing, and technology matters.

Ms. Grey also has comprehensive knowledge of commercial law, including secured financing, commercial paper, and sales and leasing, and has led teams in lien review and analysis, challenge, and successful dispute resolution.

Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Grey worked at a New York City bankruptcy boutique representing debtors, committees, and a panel trustee. She was also a part of the bankruptcy and business transactions groups of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP in Portland, Oregon representing creditors in bankruptcy cases, out-of-court restructurings, credit recovery, and collections. 

Significant representations include: In re AMR Corp. (American Airlines), In re DBSI Inc., In re Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP, In re Eastman Kodak Company, In re Grubb & Ellis Co., In re Nortel Networks Inc., and In re Sound Shore Medical Center of Westchester.

Ms. Grey is also the author of American Legal Style for PerfectIt, a proofreading and editing software for lawyers. In her free time, she is a competitive swing dancer and DJ.


Julie B.

As an entrepreneur with an online presence, this was an awesome presentation. Very informative, concise and accurate! Looking forward to keeping up with postings from this presenter.

William S.

Thank you for a fine course.

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