Pax is using Ethereum to build a peer to peer legal system. The best way to explain Ethereum is by contrasting it with Bitcoin. Bitcoin’s value comes from the fact that every transaction that happens is added to the record and can’t be changed. Each full node on the network holds a complete copy of the transaction history, which eliminates any possibility of double-spending. It turns out that this approach can also be used to create binding self-enforcing legal contracts between people, which can have use cases as wide ranging as employment, rent, deeds, property transfer, restitution, incorporation, subscriptions, billing, voting and dividend systems. Where there are disputes, a blockchain can hold an objective record of events making dispute resolution relatively trivial compared to traditional legal systems, both on the back-end (legislation) and the front-end (arbitration).
As with Ethereum the focus of Codex is self executing contacts, but it should provide hints at expanding blockchain into other legal realms.
But this is also a world where high school math students have to shell out $100 for the same TI-83 graphing calculator that their parents used twenty years ago (or one of its descendants, at least)—instead of using a free app that they could simply download to their phone. Why? Mic reports that the main reason is tradition. Texas Instruments has managed to get its calculators written into the standardized tests used by many schools. And inertia being what it is, it’s really hard to change something like that once it gets set down on paper.
Source: In an age of tablets and e-books, high school testing still relies on the TI-83 graphing calculator | TeleRead
This should serve as a reminder that it isn’t just the legal world that drags its feet when it comes to new and obviously better technology. The world is awash in examples of this sort of thing where a powerful incumbency holds back or outright blocks the adoption of new tech simply to preserve some profit margin. Ignoring, disregarding, or suppressing innovation in the name of maintaining profits especially in a near monopoly market is practically a rule of business.
The biggest take-away is that the iPad has become a “game-changer” in part because already perhaps as many as half of all appellate judges nationwide are at least sometimes reading briefs on an iPad and because it seems likely that soon all judges will read most briefs on screens.
– Law School Innovation, The importance of appreciating (and teaching) iPad realities for lawyers and law students
Indeed it would seem that the use of the iPad in the legal profession is increasing. If law schools are truly interested in preparing students for law practice it would certainly make sense to help them learn to use the tools they will encounter in practice.