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Can a new idea still change how our society works? Not the mechanics of daily life, but the fundamental relationships between individuals? Our society is built on systems of trust. Our society works because we generally accept that government, banks, service providers, solicitors, our fellow citizens act properly. We expect our banks to store and not (arbitrarily) take our money, we expect our lawyers to act in our interests.

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When the ease and efficiency of email transformed how we communicate and store correspondence, the volume of discoverable documents in commercial disputes skyrocketed. So too did billable hours, as law firms employed squadrons of junior solicitors and paralegals to review mountains of documents.

However, could traditional discovery processes in the Supreme Court of Victoria soon be headed the way of wigs?

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Computer fights parking infringements, machine learning speeds document review, lawyers offer fixed fees and consumers choose based on price, law firms stop employing solicitors and replace them with out-sourced contractors.

What’s happening?

“It’s the economy, stupid.” (*)

It might feel disruptive, but it’s not unusual.  Remember fax, computers and email?  Each caused change ...

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Uber driver: “If we get pulled over by the police, I’m your uncle and I’m giving you a lift”.

It can be the Wild West when you hop into an Uber. Not because of the service – the service is great – but because the driver doesn’t know whether they’re breaking the law, whether the Sheriff will show up. For the rider? Well, at first blush, the hardest part is working out how you’ll explain to the Sheriff that the driver’s your uncle.

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