Expertise has unquestionably had an exponential impact on the authorized trade. Yearly, attorneys focus on how expertise has remodeled the follow of regulation. It was not way back that we mentioned the shift from paper to computer systems. Now we’re discussing the results of “good” expertise and social media. Whereas it has all the time influenced our occupation, technological progress is having a better impression now than ever earlier than.
Expertise has the facility to avoid wasting lives. Driverless autos, clever robotics in medication and science and plenty of different technologically superior merchandise cut back the speed of human error that in flip reduces accidents and misplaced lives. That is in fact a welcomed change, and firms implementing these developments must be applauded as long as they achieve this methodically and in a way that retains the general public’s security the foremost precedence. But, regardless of these vital advances, error will sadly not utterly disappear. Catastrophic private damage and wrongful dying litigation will proceed, however, as would be the case in lots of areas of the regulation, the frequency and varieties of instances will change.
Automotive crashes attributable to human distraction or mistake, for instance, will give technique to incidents the place driver-assist “good” expertise fails. In consequence, sure automobile crash instances (which in some cases in Florida include a rebuttable presumption of negligence) might be changed by sophisticated and costly merchandise legal responsibility actions involving seemingly unexpected questions as to legal responsibility and causation. Whereas these modifications could seem past the horizon, lately we’ve already witnessed automobile crashes involving driverless expertise, a few of which have tragically resulted in catastrophic accidents and even fatalities. We’ve additionally already seen developments in robotic gear affecting medical-related litigation and web privateness and safety points impacting class actions. Expertise is undeniably affecting the litigation panorama, and we due to this fact should put together for these modifications and adapt our practices of regulation.
These identical technological developments have additionally revolutionized how attorneys work, litigate and handle. Lately, regulation corporations have turned to cloud based mostly software program and case administration techniques and have automated case circulate and deadline administration. Places of work have gone paperless. Regulation corporations have applied “digital” conferences with employees and shoppers. We now can join anytime, wherever, from any gadget, with anybody on the planet. We are able to accomplish practically any job from any location at any time. We overview transcripts on refined pc applications which permit the person to edit and share notes effortlessly with colleagues. Terabytes of knowledge are analyzed, in a matter of minutes, by extremely superior e-discovery instruments which provide analytics that appeared inconceivable only a decade in the past.
Thus, it comes as no shock that expertise has additionally altered the course of litigation itself. Good telephones, good vehicles, good watches, good homes, and good cities have given us entry to an unbelievable quantity of knowledge. Juries now often watch surveillance footage of the incidents at subject due to the elevated prevalence of cameras. Extremely complicated accidents, medical procedures and monetary damages are defined in courtrooms by computerized illustrations and animations which are phenomenally spectacular and instructive. And, the arrival and rampant use of social media has basically modified the jury choice course of. We now know extremely detailed details about our jurors earlier than they even communicate one phrase within the courtroom.
But, as we put together to enter the brand new 12 months, we have to additionally acknowledge the varied obstacles and potential risks expertise presents. As we turn into extra acquainted with and reliant upon expertise, we threat shedding sure important expertise. If we too usually cover behind pc screens, textual content messages, animations and PowerPoint displays, we threat shedding the flexibility to interact and join with colleagues, jurors, witnesses, judges and most significantly, our shoppers. Expertise will be extraordinarily compelling and informative, nevertheless it merely can not exchange the impression of a charming orator making a persuasive and enthralling argument.
Maybe most significantly, technological development has modified us as attorneys and folks. Our shoppers want us … to seek the advice of, navigate, information, shield, and search justice. Expertise threatens us with info overload. We’ve turn into bodily hooked on our telephones, computer systems and emails. Our dependence on these devises distracts us from our most essential priorities. There is no such thing as a query that our shoppers are harmed if we permit expertise to extend stress, nervousness and dysfunction, and that may be a actual hazard.
In 2020, and the years to comply with, we as a occupation face an more and more troublesome problem to learn the way finest to make the most of expertise, which in so some ways makes us higher, with out permitting it to distract, overwhelm and undermine us.
Michael Hersh and Kimberly Wald are attorneys at Kelley | Uustal, a Fort Lauderdale regulation agency specializing in catastrophic damage and wrongful dying. Contact Hersh at firstname.lastname@example.org and Wald at email@example.com.