The Electronic Lawyer
49 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2016
Date Written: 2009
The organizers of this conference have asked us to reflect on future challenges for the legal profession. I begin with an image from popular culture. Anyone who has seen the movie Michael Clayton has seen one vision of the future (or possibly contemporary) American lawyer. In the movie, George Clooney plays the title role as a lawyer who works for a 600-lawyer New York law firm that is acting as the “fixer” for a large agricultural products company sued for allegedly causing the deaths of small farmers in the Midwest. The head of the litigation department, who is in charge of the case, “gets religion” when he discovers incriminating documents in the client's files, and declares that he will bring down the company. Michael Clayton is the law firm's fixer, and his job is to rein in the wayward litigation chief. But that proves difficult, and the client resorts to illegal means to contain things.
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