The Facebook Disruption: How Social Media May Transform Civil Litigation and Facilitate Access to Justice
27 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2012 Last revised: 3 Jan 2013
Date Written: February 10, 2012
Facebook and other social media are likely to have a disruptive effect on civil litigation. They supply a tremendous amount of information, connectivity, and communication in ways that may empower self-represented litigants — and they do so at a time when the American middle class is under a great deal of economic pressure and faces substantial difficulty in paying for legal representation. This article, prepared for the Arkansas Law Review symposium "Facebook and the Law," predicts that middle-class litigants will embrace the legal support offered online, including easier access to relevant evidence, crowd sourcing of legal information and advice, automated and semi-automated legal services, and assistance from offshore legal service providers. At the outset, these services may initially appeal primarily to those who currently struggle to afford access to the justice system. Nevertheless, if they follow the trend of other disruptive innovations, online legal support services may well compete in higher-end legal markets in the future.
Keywords: Facebook, social media, civil litigation, evidence, discovery, legal information, legal services, access to justice, self-representation, pro se litigants, disruptive innovation, outsourcing, automated legal services, law and technology
JEL Classification: K39, K41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation