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Techonlogy Causing More Harm than Good to Lawyers?

Techonlogy Causing More Harm than Good to Lawyers?

Yesterday I sat in a workers' compensation deposition and the other lawyer, who I know well and is a very good lawyer, checked his SmartPhone 11 times during the course of an hour and a half deposition. That's 11 times and the telephone never even rang.  I've sat through other depositions in workers comp injury cases, car accident cases, etc. and have seen other lawyers check their iPhone, Android, etc. more than that.  With lawyers now being so accessbile, is it really improving the quality of the service you get or just the quantity?

87% of All Lawyers Use iPhone, Android or BlackBerry

According to a recent study by the American Bar Association on lawyer cell phone use, the ABA showed that 87% of all lawyers surveyed used some type of smart phone.  Lawyer Iphone Use.bmpWith many attorneys using their smartphone as a mini computer are they distracted from the task at hand when glancing at an email or text message during the course of a deposition? I personally don't do it so  I would submit to you that yes, they are and may lose track of the questioning or are doing a less effective job while attempting to multitask.  Admittedly, I am distracted right this minute while writing this blog as I am texting a client about his workers' compensation hernia case and answering an email about another lawyer via email about a client's on the job neck injury.   The blog is what is being affected not my client during a deposition or other proceeding.

Technology Increases Efficiency but Looses the Personal Touch

Much of my day is spent negotiating various aspects of complex personal injury cases or workers compensation claims.  I would estimate that 75% is done via email when it comes to small conversations or tasks.  While it is efficient, it seems that we may lose some of the civility we once displayed to other lawyers as it is much easier for an email to be misconstrued, it is much easier to "puff" and much easier to negotiate especially if you have a lowsy poker face- although I do not.  With that being said, it seems that the impersonal communication makes it difficult sometimes to really get to know the parites, the other lawyer, etc. which could ultimately help to resolve a case.

Technology in the Legal Field: Good or Bad?

As a reader, what is your opinion when it comes to lawyers and their cell phone usage?  Is it appropriate?  Too much?  We'd love to know your thoughts.


1 Comment

No question that technology changes have created additional pressures for our profession. It is harder to disengage from work at home or while on vacation. We have less personalized communications which diminishes our ability to develop relationships with clients and other lawyers. Work itself is more rushed. WE have to establish boundaries that prevent technology from controlling our lives.

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