Tuesday, July 26, 2011

E-Legal Counsel and E-Trial

What if the next time we need to consult something with our attorney, we read something like this in our e-mail account? “Hi! This is your attorney. May I help you?” Then he proceeds to give a litany of steps and afterwards, he submits all the documents by email to the judge. Even arguments will be done by chat with webcam. Such a scenario wouldn’t be farfetched considering the relaxing of attitudes toward using technology. There’s so much that we do in real life which we couldn’t imagine being done in any other way before which is now being done online. For example, before it was highly unthinkable to give your password or credit card number to a total stranger online, trusting merely on the “positive feedback” he has but now it is perfectly normal.

Anyway, if other non-legal stuff can be done online, why should the legal be left on its own on a pedestal so high? If the reasons behind pushing things to be done online also holds true for doing legal actions in the virtual world, then we might as well do it to reap the benefits we see. Added to that, we also help save the environment by saving trees (paper).

There is the danger of course that the person who might be giving legal advice or presiding as an online judge might be a fake or might just be a call center agent. Therefore, it would seem practical to require that there would be some form of security such as requiring a digital signature, or some equivalent.

Another barrier is that only young lawyers might benefit since it is only them who really know how to operate a computer properly. Of course there are other old lawyers who do but still they are very rare. Most old lawyers that I know still do it the old-fashioned way. Anyway, should E-lawyers and trials be approved then maybe the Supreme Court may adopt something like allowing for the real way and the electronic way, at least for a certain period of time.

Entry #6

John Joseph S. Parco

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