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Fool me once...

Ever since the BBC’s infamous ‘spaghetti trees’ April Fool jest – played with resounding success on a public which still bought olive oil at the chemist to relieve infant earache  - media outlets the world over have delighted in pranking their readership.

Yesterday’s April Fool jokes may well have conned the bleary-eyed lawyer scrolling through a little light reading over the day’s first espresso. The Legal Technology website – noted for attentive, up to date analysis of the latest developments in international legal IT - had not one but two stories of such deadpan delivery and depth of detail they’re likely to have taken in a fair proportion of the readership – at least before the caffeine hit their system.

Reporting on a new ‘wearable time management system’ designed specifically for lawyers, the site praised its ShockLaw© solution featuring the Bill-IT© bracelet with LawyerShock© vibration technology - a truly buzz-worthy means to incentive lawyers into putting in the billable hours. “The individual lawyers also benefit from the inbuilt vibration motor”, enthused the writer: “This sends an alert through to the wearer every six minutes to remind them to record their time, while also sending further and more intense alerts through if they have fallen behind in their billable hours.”

Not convinced? Perhaps you might have fallen instead for the spiffy new app designed to be rid of troublesome partners with nothing more than an iPhone swipe. Gone are the days of lengthy and expensive partner disputes, reassured the article: “The functionality allows disgruntled partners to upload a photo of the partner to be expelled, and with a simple swipe of the screen that individual is out of the picture – so to speak. The app also allows the user to decide between a variety of interesting, exciting and gratuitously absurd means of expulsion.”

We’ll have to wait another year for the next batch of headlines to be met with “Really – wow! No, wait. . . what?!”  In the meantime, lawyers have access to a formidable range of innovative tools which, only a decade ago, would have seemed outlandish.  Fortunately, the lawyer’s equivalent of a cattle-prod remains (we hope) an unlikely prospect. But from mobile phone apps containing interactive maps of every London court and full court listings, to digital bundles and eDiscovery facilities, much of the 21st century lawyer’s day-to-day activities would have been met with laughing disbelief by predecessors.

And yet, these are not mere playthings, or fascinating diversions from the daily grind: they are swiftly becoming an essential element of legal practice, helping ensure clients receive the highest possible standard of service. Central to the delivery of the service is engaging professional litigation support partners such as the experts at Legastat, who are always ahead of the legal tech curve – and rarely, if ever, caught out on 1 April.

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