Law in a Digital World

Overview

The world of law is a world of information. Rules, judgments, decisions, interpretations, and agreements all involve using and communicating information. Today, we are experiencing a significant transition, from letters fixed on paper to information stored electronically. The digital era, where information is created, stored, and communicated electronically, is quickly approaching, if not already here. The future of law will no longer be found in impressive buildings and leather-bound books, but in small pieces ...

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Law in a Digital World

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Overview

The world of law is a world of information. Rules, judgments, decisions, interpretations, and agreements all involve using and communicating information. Today, we are experiencing a significant transition, from letters fixed on paper to information stored electronically. The digital era, where information is created, stored, and communicated electronically, is quickly approaching, if not already here. The future of law will no longer be found in impressive buildings and leather-bound books, but in small pieces of silicon, in streams of light, and in millions of miles of wires and cable. It will be a world of new relationships and greater possibilities for individual and group communication, an environment where the value of information increases as it is shared.
In Law in a Digital world, M. Ethan Katsh explores how these new technologies will alter one of our most central institutions. He considers the different ways in which people will not only electronically read and write, but also interact with our vast storehouses of legal knowledge and information. He envisions how sounds and pictures will play into the largely imageless print world of law, and looks at the future importance of graphic and nontextual communication. He explores how the flexible, personalized organization of data will transform the way we gather information, and whether information can or cannot be contained, raising questions of copyright and privacy.
What happens to the law when information is more plentiful and accessible? What happens to those people who suddenly have access to information never before available? Does the use of information in a new form change the institution, the user, and those who come in contact with the user? And, what role does the lawyer play in all of this? For citizens, for lawyers, for all those who will be part of the digital world rushing toward us, Katsh answers these questions while considering the implications of this new era.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A bold and subtle study that should be read by all lawyers and everyone interested in the influence of computers on a key facet of our social order."—David R. Johnson, Chief Executive Officer, Lexis Counsel Connect and Counsel, Wilmer, Cutler and Pickering

"Professor Katsh shows that the information age has far greater and far more subtle consequences on the contours of law than we ever imagined. Law in a Digital World is a lucid and gracefully-written analysis of how digital communications is transforming not just the delivery of legal information, but our very notion of 'law' itself. It's hard to speak of a book that both deals with 'legal information and law libraries' and is 'absorbing reading' in the same breath, but this is one work for which that holds true. Professor Katsh has managed to write a book that is at once thoroughly researched, remarkably insightful, and a joy to read. Legal scholars and practicing lawyers have no clue what changes are in store for law and law practice because of digital communications; Professor Katsh does."—Trotter Hardy, Professor of Law, College of William & Mary School of Law and Moderator, Cyberia-L Internet listserv

"Court decisions online within minutes and on disk within weeks, e-mail access to federal and state legislators as well as agency officials, bar journal ads for software and diverse other computer-based products and services—the signs are abundant that law is undergoing a fundamental technology shift. This insightful book by Ethan Katsh pushes way beyond a detailed catalog of such evidence to focus on deeper questions about what this may mean for law as an activity, a means of social and economic ordering, and a profession. In doing so Katsh explores important ways in which the change in technology will transform law, not just for the specialists, but for all of us."— Peter W. Martin, Jane M.G. Foster Professor of Law and Co-Director, Legal Information Institute, Cornell Law School

"Ethan Katsh remains on the cutting edge of scholarship in the field of legal information. This book will set the parameters for the next generation of research on how legal theory and information technology interact." —Robert Berring, Professor of Law and Law Librarian, Boalt Hall Law School, University of California at Berkeley

"Katsh's book provides an intriguing look at the legal world in a period of transformation...written in a manner that makes the material palatable—and even enjoyable...The author is at his best...when he looks to the future and discusses his vision of what lies ahead for the world of law."—The Law and Politics Book Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195080179
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 5/28/1995
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Lexile: 1510L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.50 (w) x 6.50 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

M. Ethan Katsh is a Professor of Law and Acting Chair of the Department of Legal Studies at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Twain's Challenge: and the Culture of Cyberspace 3
1 Communicating in Cyberspace: Computer Networks 21
2 Electronic Information Places 49
3 Law Libraries and Legal Information Places 65
4 Interacting in Cyberspace 92
5 Contracts: Relationships in Cyberspace 114
6 Beyond Words: Visualizing in Cyberspace 133
7 Digital Lawyers: Working with Cyberspace 172
8 Hypertext: Constructing Cyberspace 195
9 Lighting and Enlightening Cyberspace: Copyright and Privacy 212
10 Conclusion 237
Notes 245
Bibliography 271
Index 291
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