I am one of the examples of what the government can do to eliminate an attorney who does her job properly. My law license was suspended at the time when I brought a civil rights case against social services to trial, and my clients were then coerced and intimidated to settle for a pittance, while their new attorney stated in court pleadings what my disciplinary proceedings did not state - that my law license was suspended BECAUSE of my professional activity as a civil rights attorney, the new evidence that I am going to explore further.
Recently, several other attorneys were targeted by the government for raising sensitive issues pertaining to civil rights.
An attorney in Nevada was handcuffed for raising due process liberty issues on behalf of her indigent client.
An attorney in Louisiana was suspended from the practice of law because she successfully produced evidence of cooking court audio files and transcripts, likely at the direction of a judge.
An attorney in Georgia was handcuffed, jailed and indicted for seeking documentary evidence of judicial misconduct.
Ok, so the consumers are told that only a licensed attorney can provide to them advise and court representation, because provision of legal services requires training and "judgment of a lawyer".
Of course, even law professors are acknowledging that regulation of the legal profession is a fake invented by the legal profession itself so that the government would not butt into their business.
And, of course, several state courts so far have ruled that law licensing had nothing to do with effective assistance of counsel, dropping the declared purpose of attorney licensing, that of "consumer protection", right down the drain.
And, the recent joint letter of the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice about the essence of the practice of law clearly reveals that what is the practice of law is not properly defined, and cannot thus be regulated, as a licensing scheme, or as a criminal law, becuase people must have at least a notice of what it is that the government is regulating before the government may regulate it and punish people for violating the law.
The concept that a law license, with the required ABA-certified costly education, is required to help people get access to courts, has been recently even further eroded, if not dispensed completely - by both sophisticated and non-sophisticated artificial intelligence, and law firms who want to stay in the business, are actually helping the demise of law licensing, by starting to use decision-making robots.
Robots already ARE acting as lawyers, and judges, in the United States, and the round candle of law licensing, so to say, is being burnt from all ends, the government, the law professors, the rich law firm, the legal information industry, and the consumers who cannot afford legal services, but are willingly using cheaper information technologies and available lawyer robots.
The rich bought an expensive program, ROSS, that can analyze cases and statutes with computer speed, make relevancy determinations as to the existing laws and newly decided cases for and instead of the lawyer, answer hypothetical questions, predict outcomes of cases, and thus apply laws to facts of the case - which is exactly what lawyers do and what constitutes that so-called "judgement of a lawyer" which, according to the government, requires a law license, for customer protection.
The less wealthy use the free lawyer robots, such as Ebay virtual dispute resolution service, and/or the DoNotPay virtual robot lawyer to appeal parking tickets.
Well, the rich customers of law firms that "employ" robot ROSS, apparently, do not need protection from the robot lawyer, making unauthorized practice of law statutes redundant.
Nor do people who are using the free artificial intelligence "chatbot" "DoNotPay", created by a self-taught 19-year-old coder who wanted to beat a parking ticket of his own. And, in the process, created a free "robot lawyer" who beats the majority of parking tickets for customers in London and New York.
With the success of the parking ticket lawyer, on the cheaper end of the spectrum, and the ROSS lawyer on the expensive end, same as with all other technology, it is the matter of time when these two extremes - free and super-expensive, will meet halfway.
If a self-taught teenage coder could create a program that asks questions (I checked it out) about the parking ticket and then draft appellate applications that succeed most of the times, and that robot lawyer is free, it is a matter of time when similar free "robot lawyers" will be created for other types of cases:
- eviction proceedings;
- custody proceedings;
- civil rights proceedings;
- divorces - all those proceedings where too often money talks, and people lose their rights simply because they cannot afford an attorney, and they cannot afford an attorney because licensed attorneys are priced by the licensing process out of sight, and unlicensed individuals of customers' choice are blocked from providing services, no matter how skilled, because of criminal laws forbidding "unauthorized practice of law", meaning practice of law without a license.
In Holland, legal advice by robots in child support, custody and divorce proceedings is allowed and practiced.
Thus, it is not impossible to introduce the same in the U.S.
And, we should not rely upon the charity of self-taught teenagers to provide to the public the much needed legal service by the robot lawyer.
The public needs to pay to either obtain a public license for ROSS or to create its own robot lawyer, to be used by all, for free or at low cost.
That said, robot lawyers are not the equivalent of humans, of course.
They cannot be creative, and their "thinking" is static and retroactive, relying on what was decided in courts before.
One cannot expect a robot lawyer to assess decisions as unfair, or call for overruling unfair cases or abolishing unfair rules or laws.
Yet, several law firms are already doing research based on this static and retroactive thinking of a robot lawyer - ROSS - that, according to the press, decides for a lawyer, after sifting through a myriad of cases decided across the country, relevancy of certain cases.
For the same reason - static, retroactive, rigid "thinking" within what was already decided - I wouldn't want robot judges, as attractive as the idea of judges not undermined by corruption, even potentially, may be.
As to the issue of judicial corruption, raised with a new vigor in New York, stay tuned for my next blog.