The law is evolving. And with it, so are the roles of lawyers. With technology rapidly changing how we live our lives, there has been a rise in video depositions and electronic filing that have changed the way lawyers do their jobs -and this is just the beginning. As technology evolves, so does the future of law look very different than it does today.
What is electronic filing and how does it work
Electronic filing, also known as e-filing, has become a popular way for lawyers and other legal professionals to file documents in court. With electronic filing, parties can submit filings from their desks or offices without having to print out the document and deliver it in person. This saves money for both clients and law firms by reducing printing costs and reducing the time wasted in delivery.
What is the difference between a video deposition and an audio deposition?
During a deposition, witnesses are required to answer questions under oath and those answers are recorded and transcribed. A video deposition is just like any other deposition, except that it’s recorded on video rather than audio. An audio deposition simply means that the deposition is recorded by a court reporter, who will transcribe it later. A video deposition involves a videographer, who records the proceedings and then edits the film into a documentary-style format before providing an original film or tape to each party. In some cases, having a transcript from an audio deposition may be sufficient, but in others, a video deposition may be required.
How has technology changed the way lawyers do their jobs
Lawyers are now able to have court proceedings remotely through virtual hearings. This allows lawyers to appear in court without having to be physically present, which can be especially helpful in cases where the lawyer is out of state or the defendant is incarcerated. Through video conference, the lawyer can see and hear the courtroom proceedings and participate as if they were there in person. This technology has also been used to conduct hearings and oral arguments in front of appellate courts.
Particularly during the pandemic when people had to remain in their homes, technology has aided law professionals in their work. Video conferencing, for example, allowed family and divorce lawyers to meet with their clients live and online despite the client being under quarantine or remaining at home.
Stenographers, people who transcribe court proceedings, used to have to transcribe everything that was said -even the side conversations. This created a problem for lawyers trying to figure out where witnesses meant to say certain things. However, with advances in technology, stenographers are now able to focus on only the testimony of the witness under oath. From old mechanical typewriters, stenographers can now take advantage of modern tools to speed up the transcription process.
A scene re-enactment can now also be rendered digitally, which is a cost-effective tool that can be used in a case where a scene needs to be reconstructed. Using 3D animation tools, lawyers can create a digital simulation of the scene in question, with accurate measurements and dimensions. This is useful in cases where there is insufficient evidence or if an exact location cannot be found.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has now also entered the legal field as it helps in improving the productivity and efficiency of law practitioners. AI helps in scanning legal documents, conducting research, and even improving communications. This is especially useful because it helps to create a paperless environment.
What are some of the benefits of using technology in the courtroom
For lawyers, the use of technology has increased efficiency and accuracy by removing unnecessary steps in the process. For clients, the cost of filing documents is reduced and attorney-client privilege is preserved with e-filing. Finally, for judges and juries, video conferencing allows trials to proceed as usual despite a witness or juror being unavailable.
It’s also helpful for law practitioners to have virtual offices where they can work from home and connect to their firm’s in-house network remotely. Telework policies or flexible work schedules can help lawyers enhance their lives and achieve a better work-life balance.
How can attorneys stay ahead of the curve when it comes to technology
It is important to stay up-to-date with modern technology so that attorneys are not left behind. Lawyers should begin incorporating new technologies into their practices and exploring the latest tools for use in cases. Always consider the areas where technology can benefit a case, such as security and efficiency, and use it to the client’s advantage.