Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Legal Field and Innovation by Bo Murphy

In law we have an affinity for unique and old things, like historic court houses, old cases that set precedents that have been followed for generations, and hard copies in our hands. However, as almost all fields in everyday life are transforming to being “Green” and more sustainable, the legal field in most places is intent on staying the way they have been, and is reluctant to change. While this is not exceptionally bad that we do not want to change, and perhaps a lot of change is not needed because the law field is dictated by formalities, some parts of the field can and should be revolutionized.
            In any courtroom trial, both sides will have tens of boxes filled with paper that costs the client a varying amount per page, and it is not just the lawyer’s way of getting money out of the client, all of this printing is required.  When someone goes to court to file a document, they must have several copies of each document, and each party must get a paper copy. While we understand the reason for this, it can become costly in both mailing and printing for the client, and with our technology today, we should be able to minimize these costs through electronic means, instead of having to pay for the printing of four separate counterparts and the shipping to the respective counsel we should be able to electronically mail each party a copy.
            While some counties have now institutionalized filing and made filing available electronically, still many, many, many others continue to insist on in personam filings and do not have electronic means to allow filing. For instance, if there is a trial a county over from where the attorney hired is located, most jurisdictions require someone from that office to personally drive to the respective court clerk to file the document, which expenses time, resources, and the client’s hard earned money, when the technology is more than capable of reducing these costs by electronic means.
            Some may think of this is as a completely ignorant idea and believe that there is no place for a complete electronic take over in the legal field, and they are correct. I have not said that everything should be electronic; I understand that some things must be in hard copy, but I firmly believe that other things should be allowed to be sent electronically, not in paper form. I further think that having the documents on a computer and sending them electronically to the court in preparation for trial instead of having to print of thousands of pages of documents in preparation for trial would be the more responsible and a much more cost effective way to conduct business in the future. Will this happen any time soon, the answer is affirmatively “No,” but will it happen in the future, I will just say it is hard to imagine it not.

1 comment:

  1. In the Tennessee Code there is a pending (I think ) rue that allows each court clerk to receive a monetary commission each time he/she collects the filing fee and papers for a divorce. Over 2,000 in Shelby per tear and close to 15,000 in the remaining TN counties. How ridiculous that they should make money for accepting money and doing a job rhey are well paid for with salary and benefits already. If I could find out who suggested this and how to protest this I would campaign against the person and protest it publicly. Any suggestions anyone?