Next wave of IT change on the way

The director of a legal documentation company claims Australia is trailing the US in the adoption of two strategic money saving technologies. Despite this, both are tools most lawyers will be familiar with

The Australian legal marketplace is trailing behind the United States when it comes to adopting time and money saving legal technologies, the director of legal documentation company, Law in Order, Paul Gooderick has told Australasian Lawyer.

“Certain concepts are still a long way from gaining broad acceptance in Australia,” Gooderick said.

Gooderick believes that better tablet integration and faster, smarter e-discovery software are two parts of the next wave of legal industry technological innovation which will become significant and mainstream in the next 2-5 years.

Tablets 
“The use of tablets is an area where there is massive potential for growth, but they are being instated slowly and are yet to find their place.”

Gooderick explained that tablets would clearly be an important feature in future law firms, where remote access and a move away from physical documentation would become key.

Practitioners would be able download an app which gives them access to court books and documents, and then be able to annotate and share them easily with other lawyers or clients.  

Gooderick also said that data security and privacy systems were already at a stage that made this kind of remote work viable and safe for lawyers to use.

"Black box" e-Discovery
A move towards acceptance of what Gooderick termed “black box” e-discovery software was being helped by the new systems gaining broader recognition in the United States.

The discovery process can be an extremely laborious and time-consuming part of legal work and new technologies are being developed which can improve this process.

A primary drive of such e-discovery technology is to achieve higher levels of accuracy and relevance as vast volumes of docments are searched automatically.  
“Black box” style of computer assisted document review, allows lawyers to search through incredibly large amounts of electronic documentation and cull irrelevant material along the way by constantly refining search criteria.
   
It differs from already established e-discovery software systems in that, based upon particular search terms, it returns a sub-set of documents which are then reviewed by a person.

The reviewer will return a relevant sample back into the “black box” system which can then continue to undertake a more refined search. 

Gooderick said that although certain concepts were currently on the fringe in Australia, international acceptance and growing confidence would eventually see them being used by local firms.  

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