Too Reliant Upon Technology?

Recent technological advances have rapidly changed the way professionals operate.  Professionals are no longer tied to their offices, have myriad resources at their fingertips to research new issues and handle new tasks, and are able to reach new clients through social media.  In general, these advances allow professionals to work more efficiently, increase their output, and broaden their professional footprint. However, professionals must tread cautiously when they employ technologies that do not merely assist with professional services, but actually supplant the professional’s role.

According to one report, a number of legal professionals have turned to automated drafting programs to prepare certain legal documents.  These programs are intended to avoid duplicative work and thereby increase efficiency and reduce legal bills.  Some attorneys have assumed that because the software simply requires the attorney to fill-in-the form, the final product will automatically be error free or will seamlessly integrate with new case details. But attorneys cannot simply defer to technology as an excuse to avoid proofreading. Many have criticized document generator technology as leading to an increase in drafting flaws and typos. These inconsistencies could lead to major errors and result in malpractice claims.  In fact, such drafting errors have led to a number of recent professional negligence lawsuits with millions of dollars at stake.

Although professionals may become increasingly reliant on technology to assist with their practice, professionals are ultimately responsible for the content of their work product.  This requires professionals to proofread all documents before they are filed, and to ensure that the content is correct.  Professionals who become complacent risk drafting documents with errors that could lead to costly litigation.