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Daily Archives: September 9, 2020

The Search for Clarity in an Attorney’s Duty to Google

Murphy, Michael, The Search for Clarity in an Attorney’s Duty to Google (August 23, 2020). U of Penn Law School, Public Law Research Paper No. 20-30, Available at SSRN: or

“Attorneys have a professional duty to investigate relevant facts about the matters on which they work. There is no specific rule or statute requiring that an attorney perform an internet search as part of this investigation. Yet attorneys have been found by judges to violate a “Duty to Google” when they have failed to conduct an internet search for relevant information about, for example, a claim, their own client, and even potential jurors in a trial.

So much information is now available to attorneys so easily in electronic search results, it is time to wonder where, when, and how much attorneys should be searching. This Article examines the following questions: is the “Duty to Google” merely yet another example of how attorneys must become proficient in technology to meet their professional ethical obligations? Or is it something more? Where should this duty be codified, if anywhere? At what point does technology like a search engine become so “mainstream” that attorneys have a duty to use it or face allegations of malpractice? How will attorneys know how much Googling is enough?

This article explores an attorney’s duty of investigation and notes that this duty has been, like the rest of legal practice, forever changed (and ever changing) by technology. It examines the potential sources of a Duty to Google and argues that this responsibility is poorly defined. Accordingly, this article argues for a better-defined duty of investigation, codified in a rule of professional conduct. The article concludes by looking to the future and suggesting industry-wide changes to better prepare attorneys to meet their (better defined) obligations of technological competency.”

Facial Masking for Covid-19 – Potential for “Variolation” as We Await a Vaccine

New England Journal of Medicine: “As SARS-CoV-2 continues its global spread, it’s possible that one of the pillars of Covid-19 pandemic control — universal facial masking — might help reduce the severity of disease and ensure that a greater proportion of new infections are asymptomatic. If this hypothesis is borne out, universal masking could become… Continue Reading

Dozens of scientific journals have vanished from the internet, and no one preserved them

Science Magazine – and no one preserved them – “Eighty-four online-only, open-access (OA) journals in the sciences, and nearly 100 more in the social sciences and humanities, have disappeared from the internet over the past 2 decades as publishers stopped maintaining them, potentially depriving scholars of useful research findings, a study has found. An additional… Continue Reading

The COVID-19 Pandemic, the Courts and Online Hearings: Maintaining Open Justice, Procedural Fairness and Impartiality

Legg, Michael, The COVID-19 Pandemic, the Courts and Online Hearings: Maintaining Open Justice, Procedural Fairness and Impartiality (2021). Forthcoming (2021) Federal Law Review, UNSW Law Research No. 20-46, Available at SSRN: “The COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing mandated health protections saw courts turn to communications technology as a means to be able to continue… Continue Reading

Law School Exams during a Pandemic – One Law School’s Experience

Parker, Beth, Law School Exams during a Pandemic – One Law School’s Experience (August 20, 2020). Available at SSRN: or “In 2020, toward the end of the Winter semester, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted life across the globe. Institutions, including law schools, felt the widespread effects of this public health crisis. Law schools were… Continue Reading

This might be your most important flu shot ever

Vox – We don’t need people with the (largely preventable) flu flooding our hospitals in a pandemic….How overlapping Covid-19 and flu symptoms are going to make this season very confusing. As US Surgeon General Jerome Adams noted in a radio interview earlier this month, “This is the most important flu season that we’ve faced, I’d… Continue Reading

House Intel Cmte Releases Whistleblower Reprisal Complaint Alleging Serious Misconduct By Senior Trump Administration Officials

News release: “Today, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, announced that, as part of its ongoing investigation into the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A), the Committee received a whistleblower reprisal complaint alleging serious wrongdoing by officials at the Department… Continue Reading

Report – Managing Climate Risk in the U.S. Financial System

CFTC – “The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Climate-Related Market Risk Subcommittee of the Market Risk Advisory Committee (MRAC) today released a report entitled Managing Climate Risk in the U.S. Financial System.  The Climate Subcommittee voted unanimously 34-0 to adopt the report. CFTC Commissioner Rostin Behnam, sponsor of the MRAC, noted: “Today would not be possible… Continue Reading

How to get started using a password manager

Popular Science – The best credential is one even you don’t know – “Using a password manager is one of the best and easiest ways to keep your online accounts safe. If you’re worried about making the jump, don’t be—they’re simple to set up and very much worth your while. There might be slight differences between… Continue Reading