Crowdsourcing Proposals for ReInvent Law London 2013

April 16th, 2013

Last year I presented at what was then known as LawTechCamp London, hosted by Dan Katz and Renee Knake at Michigan State. This year, the same conference will be held, and it’s now called ReInvent Law London 2013. In an innovative approach, Dan and Renee are crowdsourcing proposals for speaking engagements.

At ReInventLaw you can vote on who will present.

May I recommend my proposal, “Robot Esq.”? Happy voting!

Here is the summary:

The legal profession, is evolving from today’s time-consuming, customized labor-intensive legal market to tomorrow’s on-demand, commoditized law’s information revolution.

While much of today’s research on law and technology focuses on how computers can assist the decision-making process of attorneys, soon enough, technology will eventually evolve to the point where robots can make legal judgments independent of human intervention. What if a robot could replace an attorney? Call it Robot, Esq.

As transformational as this technology may be, it raises fundamental questions about how we view our legal system, the representation of clients, and the development of our law. There are three important questions inherent in this change.

First, what are the ethical implications of this technology to the traditional attorney-client relationship? How would the rules of professional conduct apply to Robot, Esq.?

Second, what are the jurisprudential implications of non-humans making and developing legal arguments? What does it mean to have computer systems arguing, and perhaps even deciding cases or controversies? A primary concern is the potential ossification of the law.

Third, how should we, or not, develop the legal and regulatory regimes to allow systems to engage in the practice of law? Can computers solve legal problems without breaking the law. This technology will have to grapple with state unauthorized-practice-of-law regimes (UPL), and address how liability for legal malpractice issues will be handled.

Developments in artificial intelligence and natural language processing hold great promise for improving the practice of law, increasing access to justice, and providing society with a deeper understanding of how courts operate. This presentation offers an agenda to explore how advances in artificial intelligence will impact the practice of law, and lays out a framework that considers key issues with this important technology.