Rebooting Justice by Benjamin H. Barton
More Technology, Fewer Lawyers, and the Future of Law

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Mr. Barton and Mr. Bibas have used their deep knowledge of the culture, history and institutions involved to identify which specific functions can be at least as effectively performed by laymen or technology.
-NY Times

Synopsis

America is a nation founded on justice and the rule of law. But our laws are too complex, and legal advice too expensive, for poor and even middle-class Americans to get help and vindicate their rights. Criminal defendants facing jail time may receive an appointed lawyer who is juggling hundreds of cases and immediately urges them to plead guilty. Civil litigants are even worse off; usually, they get no help at all navigating the maze of technical procedures and rules. The same is true of those seeking legal advice, like planning a will or negotiating an employment contract.



Rebooting Justice presents a novel response to longstanding problems. The answer is to use technology and procedural innovation to simplify and change the process itself. In the civil and criminal courts where ordinary Americans appear the most, we should streamline complex procedures and assume that parties will not have a lawyer, rather than the other way around. We need a cheaper, simpler, faster justice system to control costs. We cannot untie the Gordian knot by adding more strands of rope; we need to cut it, to simplify it.

 

About Benjamin H. Barton

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Published August 1, 2017 by Encounter Books. 280 pages
Genres: Law & Philosophy.
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NY Times

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Reviewed by JONATHAN A. KNEE on Jul 31 2017

Mr. Barton and Mr. Bibas have used their deep knowledge of the culture, history and institutions involved to identify which specific functions can be at least as effectively performed by laymen or technology.

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