Real Life Ethics in a Virtual World

Thursday, December 1st, 2022

12:00pm – 1:00pm EDT

1 hour of Ethics/Technology CLE credit (***pending approval by the North Carolina State Bar)

Cost: $65

Program Overview:

This CLE will broadly discuss a lawyer’s professional responsibility in using technology, with a specific focus on operating a virtual office and utilizing the increasingly online legal systems/processes.  Primarily, the discussion will focus on Rules 1.1 (Competency) and 1.6 (Confidentiality), with some discussion of Rule 5.5 (Unauthorized Practice of Law). This CLE will also highlight relevant ethics opinions.


Brian Oten is the Director for Ethics and Special Programs at the North Carolina State Bar. In this role, he serves as Chief Ethics Counsel, Director for the Board of Legal Specialization and the Board of Paralegal Certification, and Counsel to the Disciplinary Hearing Commission.  Oten plays a vital role in the development and strengthening of the ethical standards for lawyers in North Carolina, and he frequently speaks on matters of professional responsibility across the state.  Oten joined the State Bar in 2007 as Deputy Counsel, where he litigated disciplinary hearings, managed complex grievance investigations, and represented the State Bar in both state and federal court.  He has served as an Adjunct Professor at UNC School of Law and Campbell Law, where he has taught courses on legal writing and professional responsibility since 2011.  He has also served as a guest lecturer in Forensic Entomology courses at North Carolina State University.

Oten earned his J.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law, where he was the managing editor of the First Amendment Law Review. Oten also completed his undergraduate education at UNC-Chapel Hill, where he obtained a B.A. with academic distinction in Political Science. After law school, Oten served as law clerk to Associate Justice Edward T. Brady of the Supreme Court of North Carolina and then to Judge Lacy H. Thornburg of the Federal District Court, Western District of North Carolina. Oten is admitted to practice in Illinois (retired) and North Carolina.