Singapore is one of the forerunners for utilizing artificial intelligence in their law department and law firms, across the globe, such as Canadian firm Diamond and Diamond Lawyers. While battling questions of legal liability and the ethics of technology in law, they are taking it one step at a time. With so many pros and cons to using technology in the courtroom and in the legal department, it is crucial to implement it slowly for maximum efficiency and lower the chances of running into problems.
Pro of using A.I: It is more time efficient
Technology is used to make human lives more convenient. When you have a software that is able to run its algorithms and sort through legal cases, it cuts down on time spent on sorting and allows for a better flow of productivity. The cases would ideally be sorted to the lawyer or attorney that is best fitted for the case.
Con of using A.I: Nobody is responsible for mistakes
While it could be seen as a “pro” as well as a “con”, if the software makes a mistake, there would be nobody to blame but the software and that is not very feasible. There must be a legal liability that can hold up in the court of law. Is the law firm ready to take full responsibility for anything that goes wrong due to the implementation of the software?
Pro of using e-billing and e-filing: Less paperwork, more accountability
Traditional invoices can be overlooked, but e-billing has a “paper trail” that cannot go missing or lost. The same goes for documents. In the long run, it is also beneficial to our environment as we use less paper in the office. It can also be used in the courtroom. Web-based databases that allow legal teams access to relevant information for all parties.
Con of using e-billing and e-filing: Loss of data due to hardware or software malfunction
One of the biggest worries that comes with relying on technology is when it inevitably crashes. However, this can be easily remedied with a contingency of numerous backups on hard drives or on the cloud.
Pro of using technology in the courtroom: Higher transparency and better visual aid
Imagine a courtroom fitted with projectors or built-in monitors to show videos or other media relevant to the case. Not only will this help build a stronger case and give substance to evidence – especially in the age of digital media, where screenshots or CCTV footage is rampant and useful in an investigation – it can also help convince the jury without being prejudiced to the attorney’s sway or speech.
Con of using technology in the courtroom: Distracting and misleading
As with media, certain pictures or videos, when taken out of context might reflect something that cannot be further than the truth. Tampered footage or cropped images might be submitted for evidence and it would affect and manipulate the outcome of the hearing. Therefore, visual evidence must be carefully vetted when being used in a hearing.