Redesigning Legal Service Delivery

An interesting American blog article, asking if lawyers have the necessary skills to carry out a redesign.

To some extent, this ties in with the principles of Business Process re-engineering – that introducing IT to a process allows (and requires) it to be streamlined. So under a paper system, an insurance salesman might send a memo to their boss asking them to approve a policy. With a computer based system, the memo probably does not need to become an email – perhaps the boss just needs an approval screen with a list of policies awaiting approval, with links to risk details and a yes/no button.

I suspect most lawyers need assistance with this. But there is a difference between lawyers and insurance companies. In most cases, a lawyer has a counterpart, either acting on the other side in litigation, or representing the other party in a transaction. This makes re-engineering the fundamental legal process difficult in the extreme, unless done by fiat as in the case of litigation reforms.

As an example, when I was still in practice,  I tried at one stage to change “witnesseth” to “witnesses” in deeds. I spent so long arguing over whether there was a difference in meaning that I gave up.

 

H/T ABA

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