The U.S. Bill of Rights was arguably as much a negotiation tool, to facilitate the ratification of the U.S. Constitution, as it was a list or personal protections and liberties. Sealing those rights in ink, was a guarantee that limited the power of government and won over the opposition – those opposed, or at least wary, of a strong central government.
Over the years, various bills of rights have been introduced, or at least the topic has been introduced, in an effort to limit the power of business over the consumer. A passenger bill of rights, a patient bill of rights, and even an enterprise software bill of rights, proposed by the research firm Forrester, have been introduced.
“Limiting power” is perhaps a poor choice of words in business, because businesses exist to solve problems or fulfill needs. To that end, a bill of rights ought to be inclusive, and customer driven, since business is by definition, the process of matching solutions to customer problems.
Today, at ITLA, we’ve introduced the Legal Software Bill of Rights, which lists 10 rights that attorneys and legal professionals ought to expect from legal software. This document, and the associated report, is a combination of both ambition and cause. It is a guiding philosophy for the legal software industry rather than an edict, and a reference point rather than a sure path.
In a press release announcing the bill of rights, Michael Lipps, vice president and managing director for the LexisNexis Business of Law Software Solutions (BLSS) business said:
“In some ways this is an indictment of everything that is wrong with the legal technology industry – and a call to action to reboot. The legal industry is in the midst of dynamic change and as a community – customers, vendors and pundits – we need to collectively have an open dialogue about what’s working, what isn’t and what needs to change.”
Given we hope this is the just the start of a conversation, we certainly welcome feedback and interaction.
Here are several ways you can engage:
- Comment. Leave a comment on this post.
- Twitter. Publish a tweet on Twitter using the hashtag #LNBoR to group the comments together.
- Post. Write your own “bill of rights” post: what would you add, subtract or edit?
- Survey. Take the survey that’s posted next to the Bill of Rights, we’ll be sure to publish the results.
- ILTA. If you are attending ILTA, consider stopping by the “LexisNexis Company Update” session on August 19th at 1:00 p.m. PT in conference room Roman Ballroom II to learn more.
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