A Look Ahead: How Suing Someone Might Look Ten Years From Now

June 11, 2013

Tech News

Technology is revolutionizing every industry in modern society – law included. Online law databases are making it easy for law school students to look up statutes and rulings. Email and video chat mean that lawyers can communicate instantly with their clients and colleagues. The process of filing a lawsuit is bound to change to reflect these technological advancements. Here is the Lawyer Guide’s speculative conceptualization of what lawsuits might look like in the year 2023.

No More Papers At The Court House

With global pollution rising at unprecedented rates and deforestation ravaging whole countries, conserving pulp and paper products will be a vital practice. Forward-thinking countries will adopt paperless courthouse record systems stored on encrypted, firewall-protected servers. Lawyers, judges, and litigants will have access to important case files shared on private cloud drives. Summons, jury duty notifications, and fines will be issued electronically, and courtroom bulletins will be sent straight to the public’s email inboxes. There will be no paper at all in the courthouses of 2023. Due to the sensitive nature of information in the legal industry, IT security specialists will be in high demand in courtrooms. Notices of litigation and evidence disclosure documents will be sent via email or SMS or stored in shared cloud computing folders, thereby ensuring that all parties receive the relevant papers on time.

Smart Boards and Wall-Mounted Computers Will Change Evidence Exhibits

In many courtrooms, evidence of a criminal or civil offense is presented in the form of an exhibit – a bagged and labeled piece of evidence relevant to the case at hand. Lawyers present these exhibits – Exhibit A, Exhibit B, Exhibit C, for example – as either incriminating or exculpatory evidence. In the courtroom of the future, these exhibits will be stored digitally and presented in court on Smart Boards, which are interactive whiteboards that allow users to display and manipulate computer input. Alternatively, some courtrooms may opt for wall-mounted computers that offer greater versatility. Important documents and images will be presented on the wall display, allowing the jury and the gallery to have a better view of the materials at hand. Judges and lawyers will have access to tablet PCs to enlarge images and examine evidence in further detail.

Rulings Will Be Instantly Published

With the advent of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, sharing valuable content has become as easy as clicking a button. In the future, new user-maintained law databases and news-centered social networks will allow users to instantly upload the rulings of judges and juries as soon as they are available; no more waiting for the official newswire to pick up the story and no more having to attend the proceedings in person. Dedicated social media enthusiasts and courtroom reporters will follow major cases. These individuals will share verdicts and important details on social media sites as soon as they are available, uploading content via smartphone apps and tablet PCs. High-quality recording devices will become smaller and easier to conceal, and they will automatically upload live feeds to a remote server. This will make it easier to distribute recordings of high-profile cases. The public will have access to new information about ongoing cases literally as it emerges. Bloggers and vloggers will have fast access to case rulings, allowing them to upload commentary mere hours (or even minutes) after the final verdict is given.

Technology is already revolutionizing the legal system. Every year that goes by sees an exponential increase in technological innovations across every industry. Though at this point the team at Lawyer Guide can only speculate, it is safe to say that litigation ten years from now will stand in stark contrast to today’s litigation process.

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