A 30-year veteran bankruptcy practitioner in Oklahoma with a spotless disciplinary history recently lost his right to practice before a bankruptcy court—permanently—and received a public censure because of his acknowledged “lack of expertise in computer skills.” For those lawyers still relying on teenage family members to configure device settings or set up online accounts, this sends a chilling reminder that the requirement for competence in legal technology is getting real.

Licensed in the Sooner State since 1967, James Edward Oliver’s career has included practice before the Eastern, Western and Northern federal districts in Oklahoma, and the U.S. Tax Court. The Oklahoma Supreme Court’s March 29, 2016, opinion stated, “no testimony nor any documents showed an insufficiency in Oliver’s knowledge of substantive bankruptcy law,” and said that the “trial tribunal reported that his problem was technological proficiency.”

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