Lockdowns have triggered a considerable increase in online knowledge sharing, and we all find ourselves holding/conducting online meetings from home. Technology continues to transform the legal industry and its practices faster ever since the world has been physically isolating. The scenario is no different in the legal landscape. However, the increasing integration of tech into daily dispute resolution is so much more than these endless virtual meetings for legal services.
Simple tools like spreadsheets usually increase manual workflows. But it is also important to realize that our firm will need more centralized tech solutions at some point. Arbitration and dispute resolution are some of the most rapidly developing fields that use tech. However, advances in tech solutions sometimes raise ethical and privacy concerns. Here, we are going to discuss more on how tech is affecting the legal landscape. We will focus on the effects of technology on arbitration and how to optimize your arbitration services. This article will give you a sense of where the legal landscape stands currently, how far it has come, and, most importantly, where it is heading.
Role of Technology in Arbitration
Arbitration itself has been slightly apart from the mainstream disputes industry. A commercial resolution is always seen as something better than fighting acrimonious legal battles. Modern-day practitioners see arbitration as a high-profile dispute where the stakes are higher than ever and sometimes also played on an international stage. This clearly means that the tech industry must essentially keep up with the tech trends that the commercial world of arbitration serves.
“As the pace of innovation has gone from a trickle to a steady deluge, this has also raised the quality and maturity of the discussion about technology and dispute resolution.”
- Sophie Nappert, Founder, ArbTech
Many people think that law tech solutions are rather inconvenient. Also, the concerns around data privacy risks are not new. Another accusation is that tech solutions are expensive as compared to the features it provides.
This is simply explained: lousy advice or lack of research.
Only thorough research and a pragmatic selection approach can lead you to the best online dispute solution in the industry.
The main benefits of technology are that they’re cost-effective and time-efficient. It helps you render better results or the same results with more ease. It provides the most crucial and latest security measures to protect your data.
The perspective that ‘technology does the opposite’ is simply far-fetched, unsustainable, and ill-informed. However, virtual arbitration is surely challenging. Let’s see why:
Why is Virtual Arbitration Challenging?
Virtual arbitration isn’t as easy as it sounds. Counsels, arbitrators, witnesses, and experts may be located all over the world. Sometimes it may become almost impossible to conduct a proceeding and maintain a timetable.
Then there are problems like selecting appropriate conferencing platforms, which also complies with your security needs, determining an appropriate medium to share information, documents, and evidence, and managing real-time transcriptions. Law firms also need centralized virtual hearing protocols and need to ensure that everyone is on board with these protocols. Hence, such procedural orders cannot exist without technologically adept arbitrators leading the way.
Then there were challenges around virtual hearings. It raises questions like whether a virtual hearing that involves the presentation of witness testimonies is appropriate over one party’s objection. A virtual hearing may sometimes violate due process, especially where one party objects to an in-person hearing for cross-examination.
While these challenges seem novel, they occur frequently o a day-to-day basis. However, some jurisdictions have already articulated their clear views. In July 2020, the Austrian supreme court rejected the due process concerns and confirmed a tribunal’s power to hold a virtual hearing over one party’s objection. In August 2020, a U.S. district court reached to a similar conclusion.
Hence, most legal firms are nearer to the start of this virtual journey than the end. Before that, if you want to know more about the role of technology in the legal industry, visit our exhaustive knowledge hub.
So, where exactly in the law landscape can technology make a practical difference today? Let’s dive into it.
1. Security & Access
Cloud-based sharing arbitration is particularly susceptible to cyberattacks. This is because of the prevalence of open-source. Warnings to the arbitration community are commonplace. The threat may be technological, but the weakest link is usually human.
Hence, the defense must be tech-founded. Hence, you must choose case management platforms that are designed with the latest security trends in mind. Some of the latest tech security features are authentication, encryption, information protocol management, access level controls, etc. These platforms are usually hosted in the cloud or are on-premise solutions.
2. Efficiency & Time Management
Go for a simple-to-navigate solution that has been designed keeping your specific needs in mind. Go for a fully customizable and organized file structure. It must allow you to constitute time and date stamps on hearing bundles from the records with a single click rather than having multiple paralegals working on it in a day.
Other features like workflow automation, task management, deadline management, unified solutions, and so on contribute to achieving greater overall efficiency.
There are thousands of smaller tasks to be completed in a law firm to function properly in a law firm. These vital chores become time-consuming if conducted manually.
An ideal arbitration law tech solution would let you automate and send personalized welcome emails to your clients. Through automation, attorneys can directly send feedbacks, intake forms, and other such documents. This may help legal firms save a huge amount of time and manual efforts. All this collectively helps you increase your overall efficiency.
Automation reduces your staff’s focus on everyday tasks. This way, they can focus more on working on closing the case and spend more time resolving the client's pain points. Automated modules will take care of other details and workflows.
- Task and Deadline Management
Time is one of the most precious resources for arbitrators and attorneys. Even a small delay equates to irrevocable loss. On top of that, different teams of lawyers need to work with different teams and on different cases in a legal firm.
Each case has its own set of tasks, deadlines, priorities, documentation, files, and so on. And if you’re managing all this manually, then get ready to deal with a lot of scattered information and data. Hence the tech you choose must prevent you from this chaos.
It should allow you to add different cases and assign a team of lawyers within minutes. Choose a solution that offers access to relevant documents based on projects. Easily integrate your calendar to set dates for important events like hearings, client meetings, etc.
With proper task management and automation in place, you’ll be able to maintain an efficient workflow and successfully meet all deadlines.
3. Centralized Data
Most arbitrations require evidence-based paperwork and documentation. Case-by-case investment can provide significant results. For example, arbitration associated with infrastructure typically has a high volume of data to prepare earlier than the pleading begins. More sophisticated data and conceptual analytics can easily organize documents related to similar issues in a matter in such a scenario.
As visual hearings grow, the ability to track these from request to hearing can change the way a tribunal sees and absorbs a fact-based argument. Lastly, legal professionals want to share, store and control big chunks of private records. And a tech-based solution can get you seamless sync between your database and portal.
- Unified Interface
A unified solution will make sure that all members of your team have easy access, potentially saving a data/information breach. It brings together all the tools you use in a single place, be it your analytics tools, reporting, database, etc. You do need to waste time by compromising your workflows. Instead, you can do all the information-related tasks from one place.
More importantly, you can see the status of your cases, the important dates, deadlines, documentation, and the timeline of the entire case from a single dashboard—no more jumping from one file to another. A portal can consolidate all the information in one place.
- Quicker Record Search
Choose a tech solution that lets you bifurcate your records into subcategories and lets you label them. This way, you can keep client information at your fingertips, and your team can access it securely.
One of the primary features a law tech solution should have is the ability to index your documents. Law firms need to have an efficient way to keep track of the hundreds, thousands of their documents. The software you use must simply enable labeling and tagging files in the system. You can use specific identifiers to do so.
- Data Security
26% of respondents in a 2019 survey report that their law firms have experienced some sort of security breach. Since legal files are sensitive in nature, it is important to keep them secure. Hence, legal firms need digital security and backup. Digital security helps legal firms with keeping files under lock and key.
Firms also need to ensure that they maintain regular security and backups so that documents are not lost due to unforeseen events and technical glitches. 58%, of the firms, use a cloud-based security model. Despite this stat, most legal firms have security concerns over their data.
This is why CRMJetty offers both on-premise and cloud installations. CRMJetty’s legal tech solutions help law firms keep their files safe through data encryption. Our law tech solution ensures that only authorized parties can access the documents. It provides a virtual platform for clients to view and access case documents, fillings, calendars, and so on. Contact our experts and get a free consultation pertaining to your needs.
Collaboration between teams is the most challenging task when it comes to the legal landscape. Even a small miscommunication may lead to a huge loss in terms of cases, clients and revenue. A collaborative portal can make the information access easier and better for your overall team as well as client collaboration.
- Stay on Top of Every Information
Law firms can undergo comprehensive analysis and reduce risks, all through a single source of information. They can generate personalized charts and reports. They can also track your team’s performance and the progress of their cases.
Through a single dashboard, you can access and overview the information in one place. This improves your information analysis. It also permits a full 360-degree review of workflows, data volumes, roadblocks, and trends.
- Integrations and Personalization
CRMJetty’s legal project management software lets you integrate third-party software and tools. However, this process largely depends on the feasibility of the software with the solution. It configures your existing system, database, and workflows.
Personalized dashboards help locate information needed based on various aspects quickly. Hence, attorneys can make actionable and data-driven decisions.
5. Virtual Hearings
As face-to-face meetings became impossible, lawyers and firms alike are seeing a significant benefit to virtual hearing. Virtual hearings reduce the paper and carbon footprint as the entire process becomes paperless and digital. Another benefit is that firms can leverage secure document repositories to maintain firm control over relevant documents. Tech is overhauling the way arbitrators and attorneys communicate.
- Consolidated Communication
Legal firms need to share a huge volume of data and confidential information. This is why it is important to maintain a sync between your database and your software. A synchronized solution lets you include all the members of your organization.
- Latest Tech Trends in Virtual Hearings
In Arbitration International 2021, Robert Bradshaw published a paper on witness polygraphs that stated: ‘A number of cases before the Court of Arbitration for Sport have considered whether polygraph evidence is admissible as a means of verifying witness testimony. Although tribunals have not reached any consensus. Authorities in multiple countries are trialing a new generation of “lie detectors” and using technologies such as eye-tracking, artificial intelligence, and brain imaging.’
Hence, we can neither ignore these trends. Like other areas of commercial life, Arbitrators must take care in researching the latest technological developments around client security, automation, and so on.
CRMJetty to the Rescue
Fortunately for arbitrators, law practitioners, and their clients, the gap between current practices and the need for confidentiality is being filled by the technological industry. CRMJetty develops and designs solutions specifically for the legal industry, empower arbitrators and their counsel to store, transmit securely, and edit sensitive documents from anywhere in the world.
CRMJetty’s solutions are designed from the ground up, emphasizing security and embedded with features that are nearly impossible to circumvent. Security trends, including multi-factor authentication, document encryption, unauthorized extraction constraints, latest access control features, and so on, are prominently implemented.
We are an ISO-certified custom law tech development company that caters to all your needs. With 14+ years of industry experience in portal development, we aim to assist firms in capturing more growth opportunities through efficient legal matter management. We can help you increase your profitability by focusing on customer acquisition and services. So, do you need a law tech solution that's secure and makes arbitration a breeze? Contact our experts and get a free consultation.
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