Not only are law librarians at risk for automation, it appears that attorneys are also in the mix as some jurisdictions and companies are using software to help resolve personal injury claims, tax disputes, traffic tickets and divorce issues.
One company, Modria, is branching out after developing software to help eBay and PayPal solve customer complaints, the Associated Press reports. Modria’s software is now used in several jurisdictions to help resolve appeals of property tax assessments. Its software is also being used by an arbitration association to resolve medical claims in some types of car crashes, and in the Netherlands to help couples going through a divorce. The divorce software asks couples questions about their children and whether they want to co-parent. Areas of agreement are noted, and suggested values for spousal support are suggested. Areas of disagreement are negotiated, resulting in divorce papers that can be printed and reviewed by lawyers.
In addition to the software from Modria, another company, Court Innovations, offers software that helps resolve traffic tickets in four Michigan counties. Those who receive a ticket for speeding or running a red light can provide an explanation online, which is reviewed by prosecutors who make a decision that can be rejected or accepted by the defendants.
If the software proves successful, there could eventually be widespread use, which has the potential to change the entire legal system as we know it. And not all of this change will be negative. As a professor from Vanderbilt noted, this will give attorneys more time to spend on important client matters and free up resources. And more of the population will have access to justice.