Legal advice online is a dangerous thing.
There are many people prepared to give their opinion of how a problem should be resolved and who is right or wrong. People can easily quote case law and statutes in blogs which are out of date or simply incorrect.
If you rely on incorrect advice or information taken from the internet, it might well result in you mistakenly pursuing or defending a case you were always destined to lose.
However, solicitors themselves may soon be delivering legal advice online using the technology available. For example, the use of Skype, Google Hangouts and Facetime all allow a conversation remotely whilst being able to see the other person. Using technology rather than travelling to a location can create significant savings in time and cost.
The courts already adopt technology and many routine court hearings now take place by way of telephone conference, without the parties having to travel to court.
Our webinars are an example of what valuable information can be provided online. It is important to check however, that the business or person providing the advice knows what they are talking about.
Technology can help improve access to justice. Through facilities such as Skype and social media, legal advisers can provide advice and help much more widely and cost effectively. Fixed fees and pay as you go arrangements may also enable those who would otherwise be unable to afford legal advice, to obtain it. As set out in an earlier blog post, we raised the issue of increased pressure on the legal profession and in particular more junior professionals, to provide free advice to those who would otherwise be unable to afford it. The recent changes to the funding of civil claims and on legal aid mean the profession and the government are looking to help provide affordable legal advice in other ways.
Perhaps the future is more legal advice online.