Jason Wilson: Publishers Should Provide Answers, Not Software Solutions

Jason Wilson dissects it all here in his open letter to TR Legal head Susan Taylor Martin. It is, of course, written with sincere concern for the well-being of a competitor and all of the noblesse oblige befitting the legal publishing/lawyer-machine/software solution industry.

I do wonder though: Are the traditional “answers” (the treatises to which Wilson refers?) relevant to the practitioner of 2014? How can they be re-styled so as to remain relevant?



Stanford’s CodeX Reveals the Many Possibilities for New Legal Technology

Stanford Law School’s CodeX Project is seeking fellows for the next academic year starting this fall.

CodeX, a joint endeavor between technology-field departments such as engineering and computer science and the law school at The Stanford Center for Legal Informatics, is where “researchers and entrepreneurs design technologies for a better legal system. CodeX’s broad mission, under Executive Director Roland Vogl, is to create legal technologies that empower all parties in our legal system and not solely the legal profession.” The advancements are intended to lead us toward the “next frontier” of legal technology.

A review of the projects featured on the Center’s website reveals some interesting Center goals including a visual representation of the players involved in the legal and political system. A tool such as this should be, in my humble opinion, unrelenting in its real world explication of these connections without protective coating intended to gloss over the ragged edges of the system. Ideally, it would serve as a monument of legal realism against the formalistic cant that composes much of the structure of legal information, legal institutions, and legal writing.

I could imagine it being (perhaps in a form not exactly the one envisioned by CodeX) an unintentional tutorial on public choice theory and the workings of mass democracy. The influence of lobbyists, special interest groups, corporations, and voters upon the regulatory, legislative and judicial processes would be revealed. Further, the differing goals, biases, and assumptions of common law courts versus those of administrative agencies and special statutory courts would be detailed and explored. It will be quite fascinating to watch and see what these projects actually lead to.