The law is more complex than ever. In just the last few years, several fields of both paper and trial law have risen to the forefront, becoming both indispensable and more formidable as entire new businesses have sprung up around one world-changing technology after another.
It doesn’t take much effort to recognize some parts of the law, because of their relationships with the ways technology and business are changing each other, are likely to not only be more popular, but more difficult to understand. Here are three legal fields that are experiencing some of the greatest and most complex changes.
More than a few people thought the saga of copyright on the Internet concluded with the Napster case. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Internet has put tremendous pressure on copyright law, as the constituencies mandated to share the balance between culture and commercial exclusivity have staked out new territories and have demonstrated they are more than willing to defend them at trial.
Meanwhile, the patent system has nearly been washed out to sea by the explosion of dubious applications on the one hand, and hair-trigger litigation on the other. The process of applying for a patent, while cumbersome in the best of circumstances, has become amazingly time-consuming and expensive as the field of potential prior art has grown.
Nearly every criminal case in America now involves at least some kind of electronic evidence. Everything from photographs to voice mails to social media posts have become indispensable to human relationships and therefore have become ubiquitous in every kind of criminal matter from traffic accidents to arson.
The challenge with the deluge of new kinds of evidence is the fact most law enforcement and more than a few attorneys haven’t yet caught up with the realities of 21st century investigations. While strides have been made, technology isn’t standing still in the meantime, which means legal professionals will have to work faster and sometimes harder in order to keep up.
Health Care Law
The intersection of medical technology, digital technology and law is a huge subject, which is one reason why it has become a fast-growing specialty among legal professionals from attorneys to paralegals to scholars. The legal issues around record-keeping alone have been a major task for governments and medical professionals for years, and now that the legal profession is beginning to catch up, the necessity for specialized education and the case law to go with it are more profound than ever. Health care law schools are now helping to specialize lawyers to tackle the vast amounts of work to be done.
The trend towards more complex laws and more technical legal work required to manage them is likely to continue. As always, you should consult a qualified legal professional if you have a legal issue.
This article is from Brooke Chaplan, a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.