Legal Tech in the Blogosphere - How Tech Savvy do Judges and Lawyers Need to Be?
The recent copyright infringement trial between Google and Oracle brought a surprising series of posts by technical bloggers praising Judge Alsip, who presided over the trial, for showing such mastery of the technology. Glyn Moody posted on Tech Dirt, Should People Learn To Code? Yes – If They Are Judges Ruling On Cases Involving Software. Similarly, Jeff Neubauer concluded in the New Media and Technology Blog, Oracle v. Google Judge Writes the Book on Software Programming Copyright – For Now, Anyway. Closer to home, Judge Posner, in the Seventh Circuit Appellate Court won critical praise for his understanding of the dysfunctional copyright litigation system in the litigation between Apple and Motorola from technical blogs such as Mike Masnick’s article in Tech Dirt, Judge Posner Dumps Ridiculous Patent Fight Between Apple & Motorola As Contrary To The Public Interest. By contrast, the recent New York Court of Appeals decision in People v. Kent elicited criticism by Jonathon Ezor in his article, Judicial Misunderstanding of Technology and Child Pornography posted at Legal Technology News. Voicing more generic concerns about the lack of tech savvy among the Supreme Court Justices, Arthur Bright wrote for Citizen Media Law Project, A Plea for a Tech-Savvy Justice.
The technical expertise needed by lawyers and law students presents even more complicated issue. Clearly, lawyers need more technical training in order to deal with recurrent issues of e-discovery, as noted by Jason Krause in his recent article, A Modest Proposal for eDiscovery Education in Law Schools. Above the Law conducted a survey, and concluded in an article written by Christopher Danzig, E-Discovery in Law School: Yes, You Need to Learn This Stuff. Fortunately, Craig Ball, a lawyer, teacher and computer forensic expert in Texas, has gathered an impressive set of resources at www.craigball.com.
"Legal Tech in the Blogosphere" is written by members of the ISBA's Standing Committee on Legal Technology (COLT).