As we become more technologically advanced, technology is also being adopted to address legal problems. In some jurisdictions, software is being used to resolve legal matters, including personal injury claims, traffic tickets, divorce issues, and tax disputes. Several companies have developed such technology and are now implementing their software across the country.
One such company, called Modria, has developed software that is being used by Ohio to resolve tax assessment disputes and help those disputes out of court. Based in San Jose, California, Modria has expanded its reach after having formulated software to assist eBay and PayPal in the resolution of their complaints from customers. In addition, an arbitration association based in New York has used the software to settle medical claims stemming from specific kinds of car collisions.
Modria’s popularity has even extended as far away as the Netherlands, where it is being used to assist people who are going through a divorce. The software program guides couples through more than 24 questions, including how they would like to co-parent their children. It recommends amounts for spousal support, and records points on which couples agree. It also permits them to negotiate issues about which they disagree. In the event that they arrive at a resolution, they can print the divorce papers that are subsequently reviewed by an attorney to ensure that neither party is giving away too much. The papers are then filed in court.
Another company called Court Innovations, which is based in Michigan, is employing a similar type of software to resolve traffic disputes. In four Michigan court districts, drivers who receive tickets because they are suspected of speeding or running a red light can go online and offer an explanation in an effort to have the ticket thrown out or receive a lower fine.
According to MJ Cartwright, the CEO of Court Innovatons, following a review of the case by prosecutors, they make a determination that can be sent electronically to the alleged culprit, who can then either accept or reject their decision. She went on to say that thus far, there have been over 800 users of the program, nearly all of whom have settled their disputes online.
This may well prove to be a very effective way of resolving legal issues that is likely to become increasingly popular. As Ms. Cartwright stated, when you go online, there are a number of factors, such as race, that have no effect on the outcome of the case because such questions are simply not asked.
Furthermore, the software programs provided by such companies as Modria and Court Innovations may serve as an alternative way of resolving legal issues for those who find attorneys and the court system to be cost prohibitive. While it will not replace attorneys, it will compel attorneys to adapt to the latest technology.
Authored by Roxanne Minott, LegalMatch Legal Writer and Attorney at Law