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From left to right: Dr. Kevin Lee, US Congressman David Price, Terence McEnally, Jim Young

 

Bios:

Congressman David Price

David Eugene Price is a professor and the U.S. Representative for North Carolina’s 4th congressional district, serving since 1997 and previously from 1987 to 1995. He is a member of the Democratic Party.

 

Dr. Kevin Lee

Professor Lee is a multidimensional legal scholar and teacher with advanced degrees in Christian ethics, religious studies, and philosophy and religion.

While not mentioned in his Campbell University biography, Dr. Lee is a big advocate of legal tech, and currently spearheads several legal technology initiatives, including the upcoming Hackcess for Justice Hackathon.

 

The Gist: Technology is disrupting the legal industry faster than most people can comprehend

We recently met with US Congressman David Price and Kevin Lee.  The premise of the meeting was mostly to make Congressman Price aware of legal tech initiatives and developments occurring right here in the Research Triangle area, including his own Raleigh District. We at BernieSez—as well as Dr. Lee—wholeheartedly believe that software technology is rapidly becoming a disruptor in the legal sector, with its largest influence and disruptions coming within the next 3-5 years—maybe even sooner than that.  

For example, Dr. Lee cited a lot of interest in the bitcoin blockchain platform as something that would result in massive disruption in the digital contracts legal area.  One entity already using this technology is IBM, which has a large presence in the Triange. Other discussions included the use of machines to draft legal contracts and documents, something that is already being done by Automated Insights (a firm in Durham) in the sports and financial sectors.  In our minds, legal is next.  If you are a lawyer, you should pay attention to this stuff, because it WILL impact your life, and there’s no getting around it.  Yep, for the lower-level legal documents and contracts that you write up, a machine. will. inevitably. replace. you.  There’s a great NPR article about this here

 

Leading the pack, particularly in controversial areas

We at BernieSez are proud of what we have built so far, which includes not only a legal marketplace for handling traffic tickets and small misdemeanor legal cases, but also an initiative to expose court data publicly, something that no one else (at least that we are aware of) is doing for some reason.  Maybe they aren’t doing it because it can’t really be monetized.  But to us—even though it’s something that ultimately costs a lot of money and time to do and might bring in zero revenue—it’s something that should be done, regardless of short-term monetary gain.  

 

Seriously.  It’s morally correct to at least attempt to expose this sort of stuff, particularly in today’s political climate, where “black lives matter” and other citizen-driven racial justice efforts are in the forefront of news.  Even Bernie Sanders mentioned this kind of stuff in the Democratic debate last night…that we in the USA have more people in jails than any other developed nation in the world.  If you dig a bit deeper, what he is saying is that we in the USA tend to readily incarcerate black men for silly things like simple marijuana charges while ignoring much more impactful offenses like those committed by Wall Street “financial gurus”, who ended up walking away without a single scratch from the mess they created in 2008. Racial bias in arrests is something that we at BernieSez have actually documented in North Carolina with statistically-significant datasets, and which we plan to continue to analyze, with the end-result of exposing racial biases which might be occurring in North Carolina, whether that’s at the county level, or by a particular judge, arresting agency, or arresting officer.  Fortunately, we have a lot of friends helping us with this effort, including Dr. Lee and Congressman Price, among others.  

 

Very respectfully,

Jim and Terence