Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Welcome Back To The Future

October 21, 2015. The day Marty McFly arrives in the future to the site of flying cars, self-lacing Nikes, and hoverboards. Those are not the only predictions the movie got wrong though. We still have lawyers. In the 2015 of Back to the Future II, the justice system was sped up considerably by the abolishment of lawyers. But, here we are in our 2015 and you should be billing.

Do you have any predictions about the future of law? Is this a profession that could be abolished and society would still be able to function? Will the rise of self-driving cars eliminate the personal injury bar? Will we soon be able to predetermine who will commit a crime ala Minority Report?

23 comments:

  1. This is a much more interesting topic for discussion. Who you know, Who you Blow……….Cooling Off.
    http://www.reviewjournal.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-cooling-more-blowing

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  2. A few things that are coming:

    - Limited License Legal Technicians (the legal equivalent of a Physician's Assistant).
    - A National Bar Examination
    - Nationwide reciprocity

    I believe that Nevada will be the very last state to embrace any of these trends, but they are out there.

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    1. Limited License Legal Technicians. Aren't they called Paralegals?

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    2. Nationwide reciprocity would be a terrible idea. I am barred in one other state besides Nevada but have not practiced there in years and would no longer know how to practice there. What I could see happening is a National Bar Exam combined with shorter, state-specific exams.

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    3. 10:39 a.m.-

      No, I don't think so. My limited understanding is that they can actually go to court and represent clients for certain basic, non-dispositive things.

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    4. The Washington State Bar is apparently already licensing them:

      http://www.wsba.org/licensing-and-lawyer-conduct/limited-licenses/legal-technicians

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    5. I've been practicing for about two decades in a very specific area of the law. It would be far easier for me pick up a case in my specialty in another state than it would be for me to pick up a case unrelated to my specialty in Nevada, but there is no restriction on my Nevada license which limits me to my subject area. I think nationwide reciprocity would work if it were based on substantive expertise. The courts could require a short course on local procedures.

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    6. It is not well known but Nevada has 6 or 7 exceptions to the bar exam. The most recent exceptions were the faculty at UNLV (waive in no test) and corporate counsel (they get a "C" bar number, application, no test). We don't allow folks to drive with another state's driver's license without a test. The first exceptions were the faculty of Judicial College, legal services (they could not pass the bar), rural D.A.s and P.D.s. They keep amending the rules so there may be more. If they allow waiving in, we will have ten times the lawyers we have now. The bar may be in favor of it because they get more dues and fees. Scary

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    7. I get law professors and corporate counsel. Nationwide people in those roles are generally not expected to sit for a new bar everywhere they move. The roles are somewhat transient, so the typical professor or GC might expect to move to a few different states in a career. And the jobs are a few levels removed from advising clients on jurisdiction-specific legal matters. Law professors are several levels removed and, at least in my experience, GCs are more in a business role of picking the right (local) legal representation for the right job. I’d make federal prosecutors and defenders take the local bar, though. Most states allow them to waive in.

      As an aside, I’ve been surprised to see how many big companies eschew local firms to bring in the big name national firms. Even for mundane legal work. If I were calling the shots at a big business, I’d require a respected local presence at hearings—especially in smaller jurisdictions like Nevada. I was at court the other day and an out of state counsel asked the judge if they really needed local counsel to appear at hearings, and the judge responded “usually I’d let it slide, but your last pleading was addressed to the Superior Court of Clark County.”

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    8. Clark County Superior Court judges are the WORST! amirite?

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    9. You are indeed, 2:03! Way to go, Judge.

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    10. "Superior Court" Judges? Um, what Clark County are you from?

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    11. Donny, you're like a child who wanders into the middle of a movie and wants to know...

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    12. 10/22/15 at 9:12 wins the Internet today.

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  3. Driverless cars will decimate, but not eliminate, PI work. That will depress wages and rates for the rest of us. In 20 years, there will be fewer than 10% of the PI attorneys there are today. For this reason, if I were graduating law school today and had a choice between PI work and other law, I would chose other law.

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    1. Over a 20-year time frame you are probably correct. I think it will be 10 years or so before truly "driverless" cars become widely available, and another 10 beyond that before they are more than 50% of what is on the road. But remember there are already a variety of collision-avoidance systems that are already in newer cars today. PI as we know it probably has another 20-25 years to go, but remember the rule of unintended consequences - something else will spring up. It always does.

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    2. It will probably also decimate the DUI market as well and kill the taxi industry (think Total Recall). But, with all the drone technology, there goes the delivery market too. Who knows what our economy will be based on once all those sectors fade away.

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    3. Time to shift the practice to products liability because we all know computers NEVER fail.

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  4. Within the next decade, Democrats will eventually take control of the Assembly, Senate and Governor's office, and, as a result, Construction Defect work will return.

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  5. This, my friends, is the future of law: Bryan Wilson, Texas Law Hawk!!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HL3MxAH-kDI&app=desktop

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  6. The billable hour will die a long overdue death. I think there could be some exceptions here (appearances the most obvious likely candidate), but the idea that you pay for how slowly I can draft your corporate documents is ridiculous and will not stand.

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    Replies
    1. Gina, is nice to hear from you. Go self-promote some where else.

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