Information Inflation: Can the Legal System Adapt?
Spring 2007

[1] Information is fundamental to the legal system. Accordingly, lawyers must understand that information, as a cultural and technological edifice, has profoundly and irrevocably changed. There has been a civilization wide morph, or pulse, or one might say that information has evolved. This article discusses the new inflationary dynamic, which has caused written information to multiply by as much as ten thousand-fold recently. The resulting landscape has stressed the legal system and indeed, it is becoming prohibitively expensive for lawyers even to search through information. This is particularly true in litigation.

[2] As problematic as quantity are the diverse new forms of writing which emerge constantly as a consequence of information inflation. Given that lawyers must retrieve and synthesize information, we must ask how our system should adapt to these new forms of information life. And what tools can be developed to help? It is no exaggeration to say that litigation, as we have known it, is threatened by information’s new hyper-flow. The amount of electronically stored information relevant to a case is already a stress point in litigation. What might be the result if, in three or four years, there is ten times as much information in enterprises as there is today—or in ten years, 50 times as much as there is today? To what extent will litigators of the future be able to rely on or reasonably work from a complete evidentiary record? This article suggests and briefly discusses several possible solutions to such challenges. 

View entire article in PDF format here.