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Gnu Juris Penguinus

Dec 15, 2010, 16:35 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Steven A. Reisler, Elaine Y.L. Tsiang)

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"Electronic court filing. Paperless record management systems. Twittering jurors. Web-surfing secretaries. Web-surfing judges. Thumb drives, gigaflops and terrabytes. Cell phones smarter than law partners. LANS, WANS and Wifi. Welcome to the brave new world of the digital Information Age.

"But whatever happened to that ballyhooed "efficiency dividend" that was supposed to make toiling in the vineyards of the law more modern and less medieval? Like the so-called "peace dividend" that failed to materialize at the end of the Cold War, was the "efficiency dividend" of the Information Age a mere chimera of office technology marketing where the more you bought, the more you had to buy?

"Like a carrot on a stick, the latest and greatest new releases of software dangle before your eyes, always promising the law firm efficiency nirvana that seems just within reach. But always it requires new computer hardware, in-house retraining and outside contract expertise as you migrate from your 'outdated' computer system (only a few months old!) that you have only just managed to stabilize from last year's latest and greatest software release."

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